The Indian government has strongly countered recent claims made by global credit agency Moody’s regarding the Aadhaar system, calling it “the most trusted digital ID in the world.” Moody’s had raised concerns about the system’s reliability in humid climates and its potential security and privacy risks.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), responsible for managing Aadhaar, also firmly refuted Moody’s allegations that the system frequently denies services, especially to manual laborers in hot and humid regions.
In response to Moody’s criticism, the government pointed to endorsements from prestigious global bodies, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, who have lauded Aadhaar’s effectiveness. Many nations have sought guidance from UIDAI on implementing similar digital identification systems.
Moody’s report had cautioned against centralized systems with a single point of control over users’ identification credentials, expressing concerns over privacy and security risks. However, the government challenged Moody’s methodology, stating that the report lacked primary or secondary data to support its claims. It also accused Moody’s of failing to investigate the issues raised with regard to UIDAI and solely relying on references from the UIDAI’s website.
Furthermore, the government highlighted that biometric submissions for Aadhaar can be contactless, including facial and retinal scans or mobile OTPs. It emphasized that the factual position regarding Aadhaar’s security has been disclosed in Parliament, with no reported breaches to date.
One key point of clarification provided by the government is that workers are not required to provide biometrics to link their Aadhaar numbers to a public jobs database, nor are they obligated to use biometrics to receive payments under the same scheme.
This defense of Aadhaar’s integrity comes on the heels of a recent acknowledgment at the G20 Summit in New Delhi, where a Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion document, prepared by the World Bank, praised the transformative impact of India’s Digital Public Infrastructure over the past decade. This recognition underscores the significance of Aadhaar as a pillar of India’s digital identity landscape.
As the debate over Aadhaar’s reliability and security continues, the Indian government remains resolute in its support for the system, citing its extensive global recognition and the robust security measures in place to protect users’ data and privacy.
Sources By Agencies