Last month I sold my 14 year old hand-me-down car. It was a gift from my parents when my daughter was born. For a while we made the most of it, driving everywhere, from neighbouring restaurants to 1000+ km cross-country trips. As my daughter has grown, my usage has dwindled…

Route marker on a hiking trail in Gokarna

Principles are useless if one doesn’t live by them

Last week, I put out my theory for how organisations should be defined and held to account. This is the second part of a personal update series. The first:

I listed three organisations I’ve been affiliated with: HasGeek, the Python Software Society of India (PSSI), and the Internet Freedom Foundation…

On the design and practice of community-serving organisations

I was invited to present a keynote at PySangamam last week. Since I have been grappling with the design of community-serving organisations for a while, I spoke on that. This post is an extended version of the talk.

For context, I’m a co-founder of HasGeek (est. 2010), a company…

Photo by Cory Doctorow

Which type are biometrics?

Aadhaar proponents regularly ask opponents why they have a problem sharing their biometrics with Aadhaar if they have no problem sharing with the US government for a visa. Proponents seem to be genuinely perplexed by this apparent hypocrisy. …

A little technical hack that saved hours of effort

In 2015 with the #SaveTheInternet campaign, we offered a “Mail Your MP” tool that made it easy to identify your Member of Parliament and send them an email. We had two problems building that tool:

  1. Contact information for MPs was not easy to find.
  2. Found contact information was often outdated.

Earlier this year at a workshop for researchers, I met someone who told me that India had no official policy on synchronized time traceability, and this was a problem in an increasingly digital world. She was having a hard time explaining to officials why it mattered.

I immediately joined the…

This was originally written in May 2017, but not published at that time as I became distracted with the trolling incident.

A decade ago, colleagues at work who were creating biometric-backed ration cards in Karnataka explained to me why identity documents were such a hard problem. That discussion happened years…

It boils down to a simple reason: Aadhaar is not a communications address

Everyone’s use of Aadhaar is two-way:

  1. Sometimes you need to authenticate yourself to avail of a service. This is the standard use case for Aadhaar, involving either biometric or demographic authentication.
  2. Other times, UIDAI needs to get in touch with you.

Why would UIDAI need to get in touch with…

I went to a startup conference over the weekend (24 June) and chatted up a host of familiar faces. Many conversations inevitably turned towards Aadhaar. I heard two recurring sentiments:

  1. Aadhaar is fundamentally a good idea, whatever the current problems may be.
  2. It is a mistake for tech entrepreneurs to…

If you don’t want vigilante justice, you must have true justice

This is a follow-up to two earlier posts on trolling by iSPIRT’s Sharad Sharma of several critics of Aadhaar:

Following my posts and much media coverage, iSPIRT’s Governing Council put together a Guidelines and Compliance Committee (IGCC), which conducted an investigation that concluded on 28 May 2017. …

Kiran Jonnalagadda

Tech and society enthusiast. I helped make @hasgeek, @internetfreedom, @kaarana_, @SpeakForMe, @hasjob, and @KilterClub.

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