The world’s largest biometric database makes face authentication mandatory

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The world’s largest biometric database makes face authentication mandatory

  • India’s 12-digit unique identity system will now require face recognition as a part of the two-factor security authentication.
  • The measure is mandatory for all Authentication User Agencies to adopt, or else face penalties.
  • Non-compliance will be treated as a criminal offence under Section 42 and 43 of the Aadhaar Act.
The newest mandate by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) makes on-the-spot live pictures mandatory for any and every Aadhaar authentication. This will make the process a two-factor authentication system with a fingerprint or iris scan being the first layer of security, and facial recognition the second.
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Aadhaar authentication is commonly used services in banks, public distribution system, attendance at government offices and lastly, telecom service providers for issuing a new SIM card. The latter has already been instructed to start implementing facial recognition starting September 15, 2018.

The roll-out will happen in a phased manner to all the Authentication User Agencies (AUAs) over the rest of the year. And, non-compliance will be treated as a criminal offence under Section 42 and 43 of the Aadhaar Act that threatens imprisonment and a fine.

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The telecom operators, first in line to implement this measure, have been directed to perform at least 10% of their total authentication using facial recognition in the span of one month. Any shortfall will result in a 20 paise fine per transaction.

Facial recognition feature was a long time coming with reports of Aadhaar authentication failure in the case of senior citizens or people with physical disabilities. A step towards financial inclusion, facial identification would solve the problem of keeping people from what they are rightfully entitled to like their pensions and provident funds.
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