Ministry of Electronics & IT in a press release on Monday refuted Moody’s Investors Service’s views questioning Aadhaar workability, calling them 'baseless' and without citing any evidence or basis.
"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. To ignore such an unprecedented vote of confidence in an identity system is to imply that the users do not understand what is in their own interest," the press release read.
The ministry said the report in question does not cite either primary or secondary data or research in support of the opinions presented in it.
The investor service did not make any attempt to ascertain facts regarding the issues raised by it from the Authority, it added.
The ministry said the sole reference cited in the report is in respect of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), by referring to its website.
What was Moody’s Investors Service’s views"
"However, the report incorrectly cites the number of Aadhaars issued as 1.2 billion, although the website prominently gives the updated numbers. The report avers that use of biometric technologies results in service denials for manual laborers in India’s hot, humid climate, an obvious reference to India’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). However, it is evident that the authors of the report are unaware that the seeding of Aadhaar in the MGNREGS database has been done without requiring the worker to authenticate using their biometrics, and that even payment to workers under the scheme is made by directly crediting money in their account and does not require the worker to authenticate using their biometrics," it read.
The government said the report ignores 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, it added.
"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 Aadhaar database," the statement read.