A recent report by Moody’s organization on global digital IDs brings Aadhaar’s limitations, risks back into focus.
Moody's Concerns over India's Aadhaar Program
- Moody's Warning: Moody's report raises concerns about India's centralized digital ID system, Aadhaar, citing security and privacy risks.
- Biometric Authentication Issues: The report questions the reliability of Aadhaar's biometric authentication, particularly in hot, humid conditions, and highlights instances of service denials.
- Historical Concerns: An earlier audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India identified privacy risks and enrollment flaws.
Benefits and Challenges of Aadhaar
- Aadhaar's Ubiquity: Aadhaar has become integral for accessing welfare benefits, opening bank accounts, securing phone connections, and more.
- Benefits: It enables direct benefit transfers, eliminating fraud and middlemen.
- Exclusion and Authentication Challenges: Despite its benefits, Aadhaar has also excluded some individuals from essential services due to lack of enrollment or authentication difficulties, particularly among manual laborers and senior citizens.
- Decentralization of Aadhar: Moody’s report advocates decentralized ID systems that empower users with greater control over their data.
- Significance: This observation is significant given Aadhaar's role in MGNREGA payments.
- Call for Review: The government should review and address Aadhaar's flaws, especially regarding privacy and biometric reliability, before further expanding its usage in areas like electoral rolls and private entities.