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Aadhaar reliability worries raised by Moody’s are unfounded: UIDAI

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The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), responsible for India’s Aadhaar digital identification system, has refuted concerns raised by global rating agency Moody’s regarding the reliability of biometric authentication, privacy, and security features of Aadhaar.

UIDAI stated that Moody’s report did not provide any primary or secondary data or research to support the opinions expressed in it and made no attempt to verify the issues raised with the authority.

Moody’s report had expressed concerns about the reliability of biometric technologies, particularly in hot and humid climates, and mentioned service denials for manual laborers. It also suggested that decentralized identity (DID) solutions were being explored as alternatives to centralized ID systems like Aadhaar due to privacy and security vulnerabilities.

UIDAI countered these claims, stating that seeding Aadhaar in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) database did not require biometric authentication. Payments to workers under the scheme are made by directly crediting money to their accounts, bypassing biometric authentication.

UIDAI also emphasized that state-of-the-art security solutions, federated databases, and data encryption at rest and in motion were in place, along with certifications conforming to international security and privacy standards.

Aadhaar has played a crucial role in India’s Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) schemes, saving the government INR 2.7 trillion by curbing leakages in welfare programs between FY15 and FY22. It is considered the foundational Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) of India’s digital infrastructure. The recent G20 New Delhi Declaration welcomed the G20 Framework for Systems of Digital Public Infrastructure and India’s plan to create a Global Digital Public Infrastructure Repository (GDPIR), a repository of DPI shared by G20 members and others.

UIDAI’s response seeks to reassure the public and address concerns about Aadhaar’s reliability and security, emphasizing its importance in India’s digital ecosystem.


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