UIDAI to add new safety feature ‘Aadhaar face authentication’ from July 1

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Adding another safety measure, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) announced one more security measure feature on Monday for Aadhaar users, which is face-recognition based authentication. This new feature will be launched on July 1, 2018. The UIDAI CEO, Ajay Bhushan Pandey, said in a tweet that “UIDAI introduces yet another landmark technology for authentication – Face Authentication. #AadhaarFaceAuth will help all elderly or other facing problems with fingerprint authentication. Service to be launched on July 1, 2018”.

Just a week before, the UIDAI introduced a virtual identification for the ID holders so that the real Aadhaar number needs not to be given to authenticate identity. “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,” the circular said. The CIDR (Central Identities Data Repository) belongs to the government agency that stores and manages data for the country’s Aadhaar project. This government agency is regulated by UIDAI.

The face authentication gives extra options for AUAs (Authentication User Agencies), as per the UIDAI. “Face Authentication shall be allowed ONLY infusion 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 authentication an Aadhaar number. UIDAI provides the fingerprint and iris biometric authentication at select AUAs, similarly Face Authentication shall also be allowed on need basis,” the UIDAI said. The agency added that it will work with biometric device providers to add face modality into the certified registered devices and may also provide separate Registered Device (RD) service as needed by the ecosystem.

The virtual-ID is basically a 16-digit random number mapped with the Aadhaar number. The agency added that the number can be produced, replaced or canceled only by the Aadhaar number.

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