NEW DELHI: The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)’s boss Ajay Bhushan Pandey on Thursday told the Supreme Court that no citizen will be denied social benefits for lack of biometric authentication under Aadhaar, but admitted that 100% Aadhaar authentication was not possible.
Pandey was asked by the five-judge constitutional bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra to give a presentation on Aadhaar as part of the proceedings in the ongoing case about the legality of the unique identification project.
Contending that the data is safe and secure inside the Aadhaar’s 2048-bit encryption system, which is eight times stronger than the usual encryption used in financial systems, Pandey said, “It will take more than the age of the universe for the fastest computer on earth, to break one key of Aadhaar encryption.”
However, Aadhaar-based verification cannot always ensure successful biometric authentication, he said while admitting that currently there is no institutional mechanism in place to deal with cases where a citizen’s biometrics do not match with those linked to his/her Aadhaar identity.
His comments came in the backdrop of allegations that services have been denied to citizens if biometrics failed to match the Aadhaar details. “At no point would a person be denied benefits because of an authentication failure. In such cases, the individual would be added to the exception register, given the benefit and then asked to update their information. From July 1, the authority will also start face recognition as a mode of authentication.”