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Aadhaar authentication: UIDAI to introduce face recognition from July

By Deepika

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has decided to enable face authentication for registration of Aadhaar in fusion mode on registered devices by July 1, 2018 to aid people facing difficulty in other biometric authentication (fingerprint and iris).

Image for representation only

In a circular dated January 15, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) sent out information about the implementation of face authentication.

Also, taking to twitter UIDAI CEO Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey said, "UIDAI introduces yet another landmark technology for authentication - Face Authentication. #AadhaarFaceAuth will help all elderly or other facing issues with fingerprint authentication. Service to be launched by July 1, 2018," Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO UIDAI said in a tweet.

UIDAI in its circular said that at the time of Aadhaar enrolment, photo of the face of resident is also captured.

"To provide inclusive authentication, face photo can also be leveraged to verify the identity of a Aadhaar number holder. While Aadhaar Authentication API had the technical provision of sending photo of the face, this option is currently not enabled within CIDR," said the circular.

CIDR (Central Identities Data Repository) refers to the government agency that stores and manages data for the country's Aadhaar project. The agency is regulated by UIDAI.

According to UIDAI, the face authentication provides additional options for AUAs (Authentication User Agencies).

In many places, the Aadhaar authentication is being carried out with fingerprint readers, which has caused problems in a number of cases, for example with the elderly and manual labourers finding their fingerprints not properly readable. To get around this, the UIDAI says it can use the photo captured at the time of enrolment for identity verification.

The latest feature comes shortly after UIDAI announced a new two-layer security mechanism to protect privacy of users. The agency said users will soon be able to use a 'Virtual ID' instead of using their real Aadhaar numbers.

The virtual ID is essentially a 16-digit random number mapped with the Aadhaar number. The number can be generated, replaced or revoked only by the Aadhaar number, the agency added.

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