The Unique Identification Authority of India said that international credit agency Moody's Investors Service has made sweeping assertions against Aadhaar without citing any evidence. The UIDAI, in return, has issued a strong rebuttal to Moody's claims that the Aadhaar system often results in service denials and the reliability of biometric technologies, especially for manual labourers, in hot and humid climate.
The government has said that the report is "without basis" and that it "does not cite any evidence to support its claims." The government has also defended Aadhaar's security and privacy features. It has said that Aadhaar is the most secure and privacy-focused digital identity system in the world.
Moody's report had raised concerns about Aadhaar's biometric reliability, especially for manual laborers in hot and humid climates. The report had also said that Aadhaar's system often results in service denials. Whereas, the government has said that it is working to improve the reliability of Aadhaar's biometrics. It has also said that service denials are rare, and that it is working to reduce them further.
"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," the UIDAI said in a statement.
Aadhaar is a unique identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to all Indian residents. Aadhaar is used for a variety of purposes, including accessing government services, opening bank accounts, and getting mobile phone connections.
"The investor service did not make any attempt to ascertain facts regarding the issues raised by it from the Authority. The sole reference cited in the report is in respect of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), by referring to its website. However, the report incorrectly cites the number of Aadhaars issued as 1.2 billion, although the website prominently gives the updated numbers," the UIDAI said.
Further, 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 says.
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