The Unique Identification Authority of India on Wednesday asked people to use their Aadhaar number “without any hesitation” to prove identity and for transactions, but warned against sharing the number “openly in the public domain”. Justifying its warning, the Aadhaar authority said people do not share their debit, credit or PAN card number openly.

UIDAI reiterated that “just by knowing your Aadhaar number, no one can harm you”. “It is nearly impossible to impersonate you if you use Aadhaar to prove your identity,” the agency tweeted in a Frequently Asked Questions format.

“People have been freely giving other identity documents such as passport, voter ID, PAN card, ration card, driving licence etc,” it added. “But did they stop using these documents for the fear that somebody would use them to impersonate? No! They continue using them and if any fraud happens, the law enforcement agencies handle it.”

The agency also said that a bank account cannot be opened merely by using the Aadhaar number. “No one can open a bank account in your name without your verification through biometric or One Time Password,” the UIDAI said. The bank will be held responsible if it opens an account without such authentication. The UIDAI claimed that no one can withdraw money from a bank account merely by knowing an Aadhaar number.

UIDAI also claimed that “there has not been a single instance of biometric data breach from Aadhaar database”. “Every day, more than three crore authentications are carried out on the Aadhaar platform,” it said. “In the last eight years, so far more than 2,182 crore authentications have been successfully done.”

The agency further debunked the theory that linking bank accounts, PAN number and other services with Aadhaar with compromise privacy. “Use Aadhaar freely, it is your right to identity,” UIDAI claimed.