As an alternative for people having difficulty authenticating with Aadhaar’s biometric authentication process, issuing body Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has finally announced that from 30th of September, the face recognition feature will be rolled out in phased manner, starting with telecom service providers.
Introduced as an option to the existing modes of authentication, face authentication feature will require specific instructions to be followed by authentication agencies other than telecom service providers (TSPs), said UIDAI.
A two-factor authentication has been propsed by UIDAI, for use of face recognition by TSPs. According to this, if an individual provides Aadhaar number, the authentication will be done using either fingerprint alone – or – iris and face together. For individuals providing Virtual ID, the authentication can be on basis of fingerprint or iris.
The authority had earlier planned to roll-out face recognition feature from July 1, but it was later delayed to August 1 due technicalities and other details of how the system will work in conjunction with existing options of authentication like fingerprint, iris scan or OTP.
According to UIDAI, various AUAs (Authentication User Agencies) were not in a position to implement face authentication with effect from August 1, 2018 as few of device providers were not ready for this and to avoid any inconvenience to the public it has been decided to roll out the face authentication in a phased manner.
Additionally, the UIDAI also said that ‘live face photo’ capture and its verification with the photo obtained in eKYC will be essential in those cases where Aadhaar is used for issuance of mobile SIM cards. With this, the authority aims to curb the possibility of fingerprint spoofing or cloning, and seeks to tighten the audit process and security around issuance and activation of mobile SIMs. Inn June this year, a Hyderabad-based mobile SIM card distributor had forged Aadhaar details for activating thousands of SIM cards.
Live Face Photo is a live feed of the person whose 12-digit unique Aadhaar number is submitted.
“This instruction (for matching live face photo with eKYC photo) will apply only where Aadhaar is used for issuance of SIMs. As per Telecom Department’s instructions, if SIM is issued through other means without Aadhaar, then these instructions will not apply,” UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey told PTI.
UIDAI has also proposed a monetary disincentive, a financial disadvantage, for telcos found slipping on the prescribed targets from the middle of next month.
UIDAI had already announced that it will provide Software Development Kits (SDKs)/Registered Device (RD) services in various operating systems, required to implement face recognition system authentication.
Since face photo is already available in UIDAI database there is no need to capture any new reference data at UIDAI Central Identifies Data Repository (CIDR) for verification.