The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDA) on 15 January 2018 introduced face authentication as an additional means of Aadhaar authentication along with fingerprint and iris scan.
The move will enable easy authentication for those individuals who face difficulties in other biometric authentication such as fingerprint and iris scan.
The facility is, however, only being allowed along with other existing means of authentication. It will be available by 1 July 2018.
The facility is expected to help in inclusive authentication of those who are not able to biometrically authenticate due to their worn out fingerprints, old age or hard work conditions.
• Currently, two modes of biometric authentication, fingerprint authentication and iris authentication are allowed under Aadhaar.
• The face authentication will provide an additional option for all the residents to have inclusive authentication.
• It will be allowed only in fusion mode along with one more authentication factor. It has to be combined with either fingerprint or iris or OTP to be able to successfully authenticate an Aadhaar number holder.
• The new method will be allowed only on need basis.
To facilitate this authentication service, the UIDAI will work with biometric device providers to integrate face modality into the certified registered devices and also may provide standalone Registered Device service.
The UIDAI will also provide Software Development Kits and Registered Device services in various operating systems that will have the ability to capture face image, check liveness and create digitally signed and encrypted authentication input.
The introduction of the new facility closely follows UIDAI recent decision of allowing individuals to create and use a virtual ID to avoid sharing their unique identity numbers when using government and other services. From 1 March 2018, the users will have the option of generating a 16-digit virtual identity mapped to their Aadhaar number that can be shared with telecom companies and others at the time of authenticating their identity.
From 1 June 2018, it will be compulsory for all agencies, which undertake authentication, to accept the virtual IDs from their users.
As per UIDAI, 119 crore biometric identifiers have been issued so far and Aadhaar is required as an identity proof of residents by various government and non-government entities.
The government has made Aadhaar mandatory for verifying bank accounts and PAN to weed out black money and bring unaccounted wealth to book.
Besides this, it has also been made mandatory to link sim cards to Aadhaar to establish the identity of mobile phone users.