The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is all set to make face authentication available alongside iris or fingerprint scan as means of verifying Aadhaar users from July 1, 2018. The UIDAI, which is in-charge of the 12-digit identifier Aadhaar, in January had announced that it will introduce face authentication feature to help those who run into problems in biometric authentication due to old age, hardwork or worn-out fingerprints. It had said that face authentication will be allowed only in fusion mode meaning it would be permitted along with either fingerprint or iris or OTP to verify the details of Aadhaar holders.
In a presentation to the Supreme Court last week where he emphasised the robustness of the Aadhaar encryption system saying breaking it may take “more than the age of the universe for the fastest computer on earth”, UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey also informed that the proposed face authentication feature will be introduced by July 1. “Face authentication shall be available in fusion mode along with one more authentication factor like fingerprint/iris/OTP from July 1, 2018,” he had said in the power point presentation titled `1 billion +’.
Aadhaar is being used for identity authentication across banks, telecom companies, public distribution system, income tax amongst others and the extent of its usage can well be gauged from the fact that an average of 4 crore authentications are being done on a daily basis. Even in his presentation, the UIDAI CEO has pointed out that 1,696.38 crore Aadhaar authentications and 464.85 crore eKYC transactions have been performed so far.
Seeking to allay concerns over government’s ambitious Aadhaar scheme, Pandey had said that UIDAI does not collect purpose, location or details of transaction. Pandey began his presentation before the five-judge constitution bench on Thursday and is scheduled to resume it on March 27. The bench is hearing a bunch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar.