Aadhaar’s Big Data concerns
Apropos of the edit “Losing the Aadhaar plot” (FE, October 8), we live in the age of “Big Data”. Exponential advances in harvesting of large data-sets and the use of intricate analytical algorithms clearly induce privacy concerns. That said, the sheer spread of data creates enormous value for the global economy by driving innovation, productivity, efficiency, and growth. Researchers, businesses and entrepreneurs love Big Data that seeds concrete or anticipated innovations, through default collection of data-sets even as ensuring data security and protecting privacy become harder since information is multiplied and instantly shared around the world. An ideal model is where the benefits of generated data are balanced against individual privacy rights and to determine whether their processing be justified on legitimate business interest or be subject to individual consent. Aadhaar clearly has the consent of the citizen, but the danger of abuse of privacy is ever present. Firewalls are being engineered by the hour the world over to guarantee data privacy and there is no reason why the UID should remain vulnerable to ill-considered exploitation.
R Narayanan, Ghaziabad
To fight NPAs
This refers to the report “RBI diktat: IOB sets up ‘war room’ to address NPAs” (FE, October 7). The lag on the part of the government in posting the chairman and MD has also added to the present state of affairs of Indian Overseas Bank. However, the banking regulator with its corrective action plan, is stepping forward to support the bank over issues of asset quality, profitability and overall efficiency. Banks could implement measures like maintaining strict austerity in operative expenses, deploying competent human capital for managing credit monitoring and recovery, augmenting the use of less expensive resources, and optimising the usage of technology, but how far they would be able to recover pending loans in sectors growing sluggishly and projects stalled due to many factors is till suspect. At this juncture, the government has to step forward with radical measures to get defaulted loans repaid from the power, infrastructure, iron & steel, textile sectors, etc, to enable banks to drastically reduce their bad assets. This step must be taken by the government as a paramount need to free the banking industry, particularly government-owned banks, from the woes of NPAs.
VSK Pillai, Kottayam