UIDAI allows face recognition for Aadhaar authentication

The move will enable easy authentication for those individuals who face a difficulty in other biometric authentication like fingerprint and iris.

Published: 15th January 2018 02:25 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th January 2018 07:54 AM   |  A+A-

PTI file image of Aadhaar Card

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has announced the inclusion of face recognition, in tandem with another authentication channel, for verification of Aadhaar number holders. According to the Authority, the move will help those who are having trouble with biometric authentication avenues like fingerprints or iris scans.

The option will become available from July.

“This facility is going 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,” a UIDAI statement said.

The decision comes on the heels of a large-scale overhaul of the Aadhaar security apparatus, which will also become fully operational by July, as per the schedule of UIDAI. While the security overhaul itself came after a wide range of concerns were raised on its adequacy, Aadhaar has also come under criticism for the number of people it has been unable to authenticate using the available verification methods -- iris, fingerprint and OTP.

Admitting that “some residents face difficulty in successfully using biometric authentication”, and that some agencies do not provide both iris and fingerprint scanners, UIDAI said it has “decided to enable face authentication”.

However, this option “shall be allowed only in fusion mode along with one more authentication factor. This means it must be combined with either fingerprint, iris or OTP to successfully authenticate the holder,” it said. The new method will also be allowed on a “need basis” and the authority will work with biometric device providers to integrate face modality into the registered devices.

Agencies that use Aadhaar verification will have to ensure such “inclusive authentication” when any single modality does not work for specific residents. UIDAI will also line up Software Development Kits that will have the ability to capture face image, check liveness, and create digitally signed and encrypted authentication input. 

“Face authentication as an additional modality to be used in fusion mode along with fingerprint/iris/OTP will be available in production...by July 1,” it added.


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