The federal government of India is using facial recognition to help distribute pension benefits. The new system will essentially use facial recognition as a form of liveness detection, and allow pensioners to submit their scan as a ‘life certificate’ when they try to renew their pension.
As it stands, the Indian government asks pensioners to submit proof of life on an annual basis. The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions is hoping that facial recognition will make that process simpler and safer for the country’s retired citizens, and minimize the need for physical contact during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In that regard, retirees have previously been asked to submit their pension documents in person. However, the country introduced a door-to-door collection option in November of 2020 that allowed pensioners to stay at home. The government also allows people to submit life certificates digitally.
“The central government has been sensitive to the needs of pensioners and to ensure ease of living for them,” said Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh. “Soon after coming to power in 2014, the government decided to introduce and implement digital life certificate for the pensioners. This unique face technology will further help pensioners.”
The technology in the face-based pension program was developed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in collaboration with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), on behalf of the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare. The central government currently provides pension benefits for approximately 6.8 million Indian residents. The system is also expected to help those who receive benefits through state-level pension programs.
In the past, the Indian pension program has verified people’s identities with fingerprint or iris recognition. The Brazilian government has trialed its own face-based proof of life system, while FacePhi’s technology has been used to facilitate pension payments in Argentina and Nigeria.
Source: The Times of India
December 2, 2021 – by Eric Weiss