Now Aadhar users can verify their identity by using facial recognition technique. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has announced facial recognition as an additional means of Aadhar authentication.
Aadhar users can now use facial recognition along with biometrics as a means of authentication of users, a move intended to offer major relief to older people whose fingerprints and irises are unclear.
The face authentication option will be available by July 1, allowed in combination with fingerprints, or iris scans, or an OTP to verify the details of Aadhar users and is expected to go a long way in dealing with problems faced by older users with blurred biometrics. Interestingly, the authentication will require some facial movement, like blinking or smiling, to ensure live presence of the user.
As many as 119 crore biometric identifiers have been issued so far, and Aadhar is being used by various government and private agencies as proof of identity of a person and for verifying bank accounts and PAN numbers.
This process will not require any new data as photos of citizens are already on the Aadhar database. But the face recognition technology will be used only if needed, along with at least one other security check like a fingerprint, iris scan or OTP number.
For verification, an Aadhar beneficiary’s face will be scanned, for which the biometric devices in use will be equipped with face recognition. The systems “will be able to capture the face image and create digitally signed, encrypted authentication inputs,” said the Aadhar agency, pointing out that in cameras in laptops and mobiles, face capture is feasible without any extra hardware.
Last week, the UIDAI announced that a randomly-generated 16-digit virtual ID can be shared instead of the Aadhar ID. To prevent leaks and misuse of biometric data collected from millions of Indian this step was taken. The announcement was made days after a newspaper report claimed access to the Aadhar database for just ₹500 paid online.
The UIDAI has already added extra firewall for privacy with virtual IDs and limited KYC. Apart from that it has in place a ‘biometric lock’ as an additional layer of protection against outside intrusions or breach.