Fingerprints, Iris Scan, and Now Facial Recognition: All your Qs on Aadhaar’s new rule answered
New Delhi, Sep 15: Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI )-which has been mandated by the government to develop, identify and set up the necessary infrastructure and aides for issuing Aadhaar cards will roll out facial recognition on 15 September to authenticate users.
The authority had earlier planned to roll-out face recognition feature from July 1, a target that was later pushed to August 1.
Is it a new technology?
According to UIDAI, it always had the ability to leverage the photograph taken during Aadhaar enrolment to verify the identity of the Aadhaar number holder. The inbuilt cameras on laptops and mobiles are good enough for this purpose and do not require any change in hardware, it says.
Why does UIDAI want to click my face?
The move is aimed at providing easy authentication for those individuals who face a difficulty in other biometric authentication like fingerprint and iris, the UIDAI said.
Face authentication must be combined with either fingerprint or iris or OTP to be able to successfully authenticate an Aadhaar number holder, it added.
But I've already given away my fingerprints and iris...?
UIDAI has proposed a two-factor authentication for use of face recognition by telcos. Where an individual provides Aadhaar number, the authentication will be done using fingerprint or iris and face. For individuals providing Virtual ID, the authentication can be on basis of fingerprint or iris.
UIDAI said in case where an individual is unable to authenticate fingerprint or iris, face authentication can be used as an additional mode, to make the system more inclusive.
Why only Telecom Service Providers?
The UIDAI had in fact asked all authentication user agencies (AUA) - banks, telecom companies, public distribution channels, income tax authorities, etc - to add facial recognition as an additional feature in their authentication devices by July 2018. However, the AUAs failed to meet the deadline. Since telcos are the ones that use outside agents and distributors to carry out the authentication most, UIDAI has decided to begin with them, and move towards others in a phased manner.
Why were other AUAs not ready with the service?
For enabling this technology, UIDAI will have to work with all biometric device providers to integrate face modality into the certified registered devices and also provide standalone registered device as and when required. UIDAI also provides software development kits and registered device services in various operating systems, which will have the ability to capture face image, check liveness, and create digitally signed and encrypted authentication input as required.
The mobile operators have sought more time to implement the UIDAI-mandated face authentication feature, the rollout deadline for which is Saturday, citing non-preparedness of biometric device makers.
Why telcos are seeking time
Under the ambit of Apex Advisory Council for Telecom in India (ACT) , the operators have said that the date of implementation of face authentication should be at least two months from the date that the device ecosystem is ready, and till such time no penalty should be levied.