Aadhaar is not perfect but has proven useful
SummarySo long as Aadhaar does its basic job of allowing unique identification, this digital public infrastructure serves its foundational purpose. The critique by Moody’s could help improve it
Given how widely Aadhaar has been hailed as a success in biometric identification to enable policy action, the Moody’s critique of it caught many by surprise. Having highlighted it as a marvel of digital public infrastructure (DPI) at the G20 summit, India’s government was displeased enough to shoot back a rebuttal. It said the credit rating agency had made sweeping assertions against Aadhaar without citing any empirical evidence and had ignored facts about its identity verification options in suggesting that service failures were resulting in wage denial to workers employed under our rural job guarantee scheme. As a debate gets re-ignited, let’s take a closer look at what Moody’s pointed out. Primarily, it noted two problems. First, that this identification system is unsuitable for our hot and humid conditions, which render fingerprint scans prone to failure. Second, it raised concerns over the security of centrally stored data, with the privacy of people seen at risk.