“Effective September 15th, telecoms will need to ensure that at least 10 percent of their authentication transactions through Aadhaar are performed using facial recognition, with shortfalls subject to fines.”
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is preparing to take at least a small step toward the integration of authentication based on facial recognition into its Aadhaar biometric ID program, with the announcement that it will be required for a portion of the country’s SIM card issuance.
The requirement will apply to telecom companies, of course, and only to cases in which a customer’s SIM is being linked to their Aadhaar profile. Effective September 15th, telecoms will need to ensure that at least 10 percent of their authentication transactions through Aadhaar are performed using facial recognition, with shortfalls subject to fines.
As is often the case with the UIDAI’s Aadhaar initiatives, the messaging about the underlying rationale is a little unclear. As The Indian Express reports, a key reason is to implement two factor authentication, with telecoms authenticating users based on both facial recognition and an iris or fingerprint scan. But facial recognition on its own will also suffice in cases where fingerprint or iris scanning is not working or not an option. Applying the requirement to only 10 percent of all transactions, meanwhile, is said to be an accommodation to the lack of face scanning equipment among authentication agents.
In any case, the move does represent another step forward in the UIDAI’s effort to implement facial recognition into Aadhaar, with the organization having earlier planned to deliver support for such functionality starting July 1st, only to announce a delay in mid-June.
August 21, 2018 – by Alex Perala