India has reassured confidence in Aadhaar technology after the US-based rating agency, Moody's Investors Service highlighted concerns about it such as establishing authorisation and bio-metric reliability.
In its response to Moody's, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) said, "A certain investor service has, without citing any evidence or basis, made sweeping assertions against Aadhaar, the most trusted digital ID in the world. Over the last decade, over a billion Indians have expressed their trust in Aadhaar by using it to authenticate themselves over 100 billion times", according to a report by Mint.
The Union Ministry of Electronic and IT said that Moody's report "does not cite either primary or secondary data or research in support of the opinions presented in it".
Moody's had said that Aadhaar's system often results in service denials, and questioned the reliability of biometric technologies, especially for manual labourers.
The ministry, addressing the concerns, said that payments to workers under schemes like the country's Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) are made by directly crediting money in their account and does not require the worker to authenticate using their biometrics.
The Central government further added that Moody's has been ignorant of the fact that biometric submission is also possible through contactless means like face authentication and iris authentication.
"In addition, the option of mobile OTP is also available in many use cases. The report also avers that there are security and privacy vulnerabilities in a centralised Aadhaar system. The factual position in this regard has been repeatedly disclosed in response to Parliament questions, where Parliament has been categorically informed that till date no breach has been reported from the Aadhaar database," the statement said.
The government said that no breach has been reported from the Aadhaar database so far. Additionally, the Centre said that global investment banks such as IMF and World Bank have lauded the role of Aadhaar.