Data Don’t Have Feelings

This is an odd way to spin a fire at a server farm…

Fire at UID data centre, 20cr citizens’ data at risk (Times of India)

The data centre on the third floor is a small subset of the main data centre in Bangalore, said the spokesman.

“Little data was being stored here. Nonetheless, no data is harmed as we have a back up at 3-4 locations across the country,” the spokesman said.

So as not to single out the Times of India, it’s worth noting that the Economic Times is running essentially the same article.

My question is how exactly, as asserted in the headline, is citizen data at risk?

Only two possibilities make sense.

The first possibility is that the data is at risk of being lost, deleted or destroyed by fire. If that’s the case the “risk” is that all the staff work and the effort of those who waited in line to get an ID is wasted. But since it’s backed up at 3-4 locations, that’s not the case.

The other possibility is that is is less secure because of the fire, but burning data and/or destroying hardware doesn’t make it less secure in the sense that it can be abused, it makes it more secure in the sense that it is useless. Even NO2ID knows that.

Another funny quote from the article…

“The accident puts a big question mark over safety of data being collected from about 1.2 billion Indian residents and being housed in risk prone facilities.”

The only way this makes sense is if data have feelings. If they do, they might care about fire safety out of a sense of self-preservation but then again, they might not.

The Times of India and The Economic Times frequently do top-rate work on UID. This article is just strange. Fun, but strange.