UIDAI to rollout face authentication feature for Aadhaar verification from 1 July 2018

Published Date - 28 March 2018 01:11:23 Updated Date - 28 March 2018 01:13:19

The Unique Identification Authority of India or UIDAI announced face authentication, in January, to get more Indians on-board the Aadhaar bandwagon. It had also announcedthat the service will be launched by 1 July 2018 . Now UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey has confirmed that "face authentication shall be available in fusion mode along with one more authentication factor like fingerprint/iris/OTP from July 1, 2018.

UIDAI chief made the confirmation in a presentation to the Supreme Court last week.

UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey took to Twitter to announce the new authentication feature, and also mentioned that it will be rolled out starting July 1, 2018. It will help residents to authenticate themselves if they are facing difficulties with iris or fingerprint authentication.

UIDAI aims to solve authentication problem for those who have issues regarding the fingerprint and iris scan. Fingerprint and iris scan were the two biometric details that were stored in the Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR) for verification while applying for an Aadhaar card.

The reason for introducing the Face Authentication feature is to help all elderly people or those who have an issue with the other two authentication details, according to UIDAI.

For facial reference data, the photograph captured during Aadhaar registration can be used as data. And since facial authentication does not need a special hardware, it can be done via mobile or laptop by authentication agencies.

However, UIDAI would be providing registered devices to service providers and authentication agencies. This device would also have a software development kit to enable the security measure. According to UIDAI, the devices would be able to capture "Face image with liveness detection and that can be used as an additional factor to increase security". UIDAI hasn't elaborated on what the 'liveness detection' feature would entail.

UIDAI has also said that like other biometric details which require approval by the UIDAI to enable verification, similar permission would be sought when it comes to facial authentication. This primarily depends upon the kind of service is offered.

UIDAI is the governing body to provide 12 digit identifier number (Aadhar Number) to people. This face authentication feature in aadhaar will remain available in fusion mode. This means that the face verification will get permitted in addition to fingerprint / iris / otp to verify Aadhar Holders details.

Face Authentication is a unique feature as proposed by UIDAI which will protect the security of Aadhaar Database along with easing down the process of Aadhar Verification. SC has extended the Aadhaar Linking Deadline  in the previous judgement.

UIDAI Aadhar Card Face Authentication

Supreme Court recently ordered the UIDAI Authority to give a presentation on Aadhar Security. In reply, UIDAI Authority has given power-point presentation in Supreme Court on the security issues and robustness of Aadhar encryption. Aadhar is a safe and secure document and it may take more than the age of universe for the fastest computer on earth for decryption Aadhar security code. This ensure that the Aadhar Card database is absolutely safe. Moreover, UIDAI does not holds the details of purpose, location or details of transaction.

UIDAI will introduce Aadhar Card Face Authentication in fusion mode in addition to one of the following feature – Fingerprint / Iris / OTP from 1 July 2018. Various Banks, Telecom Companies, Public Distribution System, Income Tax dept. and other dept. are using it for authentication purposes. Aadhaar holds the record of an average of 4 crore authentications per day. Till date, there are approx. 1,696.38 crore Aadhar authentications and 464.85 crore e-KYC transactions. Previously, UIDAi has also introduced the feature of UIDAI Virtual Id to ensure security of Aadhar Database.

Aadhar Card is a mandatory document for all the people in India. To avail the benefits of all government schemes, people must obtain their 12 digit identification number to get Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT). However, Supreme Court has removed the deadline of 31st March to link mobile numbers, bank accounts with Aadhar till the final judgement.

The presentation on Aadhar Card will continue on 27 March 2018 which the next hearing date. SC Five Judge Bench is hearing the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhar. For more details on Aadhaar Update, Aadhaar Status, e-Aadhar download, please visit the official website uidai.gov.in


5 things to know about Aadhaar 'Face ID' according to UIDAI:

1.    Face ID will provide additional choice to create inclusive authentication for residents having difficulty with fingerprints/iris authentication, said UIDAI in its circular.

2.    Since face photo is already available in UIDAI database there is no need to capture any new reference data, added UIDAI.
3.    However, face authentication (Face ID) shall be allowed only in 'fusion mode' along with one more authentication factor. This means 'Face ID' must be combined with either fingerprint or iris biometrics or OTP (one time password) to be able to successfully authenticate an Aadhaar card number holder, as informed by UIDAI.

4.     The new method of Face ID will be allowed 'on need basis' only.

5.    Camera is now pervasively available on laptops and mobiles making the face capture easily feasible without needing any additional hardware, UIDAI further said.

Moreover, UIDAI has said that the authentication would require one more added security feature. "Face Authentication shall be allowed ONLY in fusion mode along with one more authentication factor. This means Face Authentication must be combined with either fingerprint or iris or OTP to be able to successfully authenticate an Aadhaar number holder," says the UIDAI circular. All authentication agencies would be provided with a circular under which they would have to bring the implementation of the new feature.


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