UIDAI to introduce face authentication feature for Aadhaar from July 1. Here’s all about the new service

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New Delhi | Updated: Jan 15, 2018 2:14 PM

The face authentication feature for Aadhaar shall only be allowed in fusion mode, meaning that it must be combined with either fingerprint, iris or OTP to be able to successfully authenticate an Aadhaar holder.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has introduced a new feature of Aadhaar authentication for those facing issues in authenticating their biometrics through the existent process of fingerprint and iris scans. The new service will be rolled out starting July 1, the UIDAI said in a statement on Monday.

As per the UIDAI, the new feature will provide an additional avenue for residents facing difficulties with their fingerprint or iris authentication. However, this new feature will only be available along with one or more authentication factor.

“Face authentication provides an additional option for AUAs (Authentication User Agencies) to ensure that inclusive authentication is offered to all residents,” a UIDAI circular dated January 15 read. The UIDAI believes that since face photos of residents are already available in its database, there will be no further need to capture any further reference data. Moreover, with cameras available on most laptops and phones, the process will not require any additional hardware for the authenticating agencies.

“Authentication via facial photo matching builds on the principle of inclusion and delivers on the promise of evolving with the times!” said Aadhaar architect Nandan Nilekani.

Here are the salient features of the face authentication service:

– The face authentication service will be rolled out on July 1, 2018, the UIDAI announced on Twitter.

– The feature shall be allowed only in fusion mode, meaning that face recognition must be combined with either fingerprint or iris or OTP to be able to successfully authenticate an Aadhaar holder.

– Authentication agencies will have to enable the face authentication feature for applications for specific residents when the applicant faces difficulty in fingerprint or iris scan.

– According to the UIDAI, the face recognition feature with ‘liveness’ detection can be an additional factor that can be used for Aadhaar security.

– Face authentication will be allowed to select AUAs on a need basis. This is similar to the UIDAI providing fingerprint and iris scanning facility to them.

– Registered Device Service Providers will also have to make necessary changes to integrate the face authentication feature to allow its use when required.

– Necessary details required for the rollout of the feature will be released by the UIDAI by March 1, 2018.

– All AUAs or Registered Device Service Providers will be required to comply with the directive to enable face authentication as an additional avenue for authentication.

– The UIDAI said it will also conduct workshops and training sessions to ensure that the changes can be brought about smoothly by authenticating agencies.

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