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Mangaluru: Aadhaar's utility and privacy are two different concerns, must not be mixed up - Sifakis

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Mangaluru, Jan 15: Affirming that no one can 'guarantee' safety against violation of internet privacy online, 2007 Turing Award recipient Joseph Sifakis said that the utility of social security numbers and its security are two different subjects and must be treated separately.

In an exclusive interview with Daijiworld on Monday January 15, the 71-year old, whose current research interest cover fundamental and applied aspects of embedded system design said, if social security systems (Aadhaar) benefits people by enhancing their access to public utilities then its good. "But when all the information is attached to one number, issues related to privacy arise. It depends on how secure the government systems are, and the agencies who collate the information. But no one can guarantee safety against violation of privacy," he said. He also suggested that it must be taken into account of what happens to the information handled by international parties?

While admitting that automation in IT industry will have an impact on the jobs in the technology sector, he said there is no need to panic over it. "Automation is being used in agriculture, manufacturing and will replace systems where the job requirement is routine. However, jobs like writing programmes will resume, there automation has a limited role. However, if the infrastructure is controlled by a few people or companies then it would be a problem. It requires a political intervention," he said.

Expressing his reservation on Crypto currency, Joseph said that as it is Bitcoin network is consuming a lot of energy. "Though many of them say it is secure, I am sure some privacy obstacles will step-in days to come. It is just a wait and watch," he said.

Commenting on the last years debate between Mark Zukerberg and Elon Musk's on Artificial Intelligence (AI) communicating with each other, Joseph termed it as 'nonsense'. "Some companies make money by talking nonsense. Things like Artificial Intelligence (AI) communicating with each other with their own language, is absolute nonsense. Technology is neutral. If there are dangers, then it is from the humans behind the programming. At present the intelligence used for running the programmes is from the programmer. Machines can compute fast and precise. Thought it can efficiently calculate moves for a chess game, it cannot play a game like jeopardy," he said.

Professor Sifakis was in Mangaluru as a speaker at the Sahyadri Conclave held by Sahyadri College of Engineering and Management in Mangaluru.

When asked his advice for young researchers and students, he said “Have a vision. Work for satisfaction. Be ambitious, take risks and try to be original”.

About Professor Joseph Sifakis

Professor Joseph Sifakis is Emeritus Senior CNRS Researcher at Verimag. His current research interests cover fundamental and applied aspects of embedded systems design. The main focus of his work is on the formalization of system design as a process leading from given requirements to trustworthy, optimized and correct-by-construction implementations.

He has been a full time professor at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) for the period 2011-2016. He is the founder of the Verimag laboratory in Grenoble, which he directed for 13 years. Verimag is a leading research laboratory in the area of embedded systems, internationally known for the development of the Lustre synchronous language used by the SCADE tool for the design of safety-critical avionics and space applications.

In 2007, Professor Joseph Sifakis has received the Turing Award for his contribution to the theory and application of model checking, the most widely used system verification technique today. He is a member of the French Academy of Sciences, a member of the French National Academy of Engineering, a member of Academia Europea, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is a Grand Officer of the French National Order of Merit, a Commander of the French Legion of Honor. He has received the Leonardo da Vinci Medal in 2012.

Joseph Sifakis has received the Award of the Hellenic Parliament Foundation for Parliamentarism and Democracy in 2009. He is a commander of the Greek Order of the Phoenix. He has been the President of the Greek Council for Research and Technology for the period February 2014 – April 2016.

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Comment on this article

  • Vincent Rodrigues, Bengaluru/Katapadi

    Tue, Jan 16 2018

    Who is accountable if the Aadhar information are misused

    DisAgree [1] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Prasad RVV, Hyderabad

    Tue, Jan 16 2018

    Very nice article. Kudos to Sahyadri College of Engineering and Management for inviting Professor Joseph Sifakis for delivering the lecture.

    Kudos to Daijiworld for reporting the event in detail

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Honnappa, Byadagi

    Tue, Jan 16 2018

    Your are saying privacy and utility are different things . Then you say it is humans behind the programming who are dangerous. This is the reason why aadhar is being opposed. Putting all personal details at one place is very dangerous. A person sitting in remote corner of world can have all details by hacking aadhar and misuse . There is old saying " Do not put all eggs in one basket". Indians poor track record in investigation and prosecution further adds to misery. Also most of Indians do not know all features and cannot operate smartphone properly even if they own smartphone.

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • ad, mangaluru

    Mon, Jan 15 2018

    Aadhaar(availing financial social security for government, like welfare and pension etc) . He is right in saying utility( collection of social security financial benefits) and privacy are different. Combining the two has exploitation of privacy consequences. The the government invading the privacy of a citizen, like biometrics, it violates the fundamental right under the constitution of India.

    Eliminate biometrics collected from data base. Then Aadhaar /Pan as one is ok in my opinion.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldfanha, Mumbai

    Mon, Jan 15 2018

    Aadhaar is not Rocket Science ...

    DisAgree Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • shan, dubai

    Mon, Jan 15 2018 linked to Pan,Bank accounts,LPG,and for all social benefit schemes to control fraudulent transactions..... Why Aadhaar is linked to Voter ID because illegals, duplicate voter ID holders can vote and win the election?????

    DisAgree Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • L N Rego, Bendur

    Mon, Jan 15 2018

    Wow...wonderful insight on present scenario. Sir Sifakis has enlightened on many issues. Specially cleared doubts on Adaar and its privacy. In one sentence the hot issue is sumerised, Let us not forget the entry and exit of the same bitcoins in the year 2004.

    The way Bitcoins are tempting the investors in todays market it looks like a bubble.. the Bit coins are crypto currencies and worked on blocked chain technology. Even though bitcoins are legal no authority is monitoring the trade activities. The investors need to be extra careful.

    DisAgree Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

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Title : Mangaluru: Aadhaar's utility and privacy are two different concerns, must not be mixed up - Sifakis


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