Aadhaar is increasingly becoming an important document and as your details such as iris, fingerprint, contact and bank accounts are liked to it, there is a need for extra security to safeguard your biometric data. After the recent reports related to Aadhaar data breach, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) introduced Virtual ID to address security concerns. Now, UIDAI has just added another layer of security in the form of ‘Face Authentication.’
UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey took to Twitter to announce the new authentication feature, and also mentioned that it will be rolled out starting July 1, 2018. It will help residents to authenticate themselves if they are facing difficulties with iris or fingerprint authentication.
@UIDAI introduces yet another landmark technology for authentication – Face Authentication. #AadhaarFaceAuth will help all elderly or others facing issues with fingerprint authentication. Service to be launched by 1 July 2018.
— CEO UIDAI (@ceo_uidai) January 15, 2018
In a circular, UIDAI said “Face authentication provides an additional option for AUAs (Authentication User Agencies) to ensure that inclusive authentication is offered to all residents.” And with cameras available on most smartphones and laptops, the authenticating agencies may not require any additional hardware. Also, UIDAI believes that as face photos of Aadhaar holders are already in the UIDAI database, there will be no need to capture new photos again.
The new authentication mode will be offered as a fusion – meaning that face recognition will be combined with fingerprint or iris or OTP to authenticate the user. How exactly will this will work remain to be seen, but we will come to know more when the feature is closer to the rollout date.
The recently announced Virtual ID will have a 16-digit randomly generated number that you will need to share with the service provider, thus doing away with the need of sharing your 12-digit Aadhaar number along with other details. Besides Virtual ID, UIDAI has also introduced TOTP (or temporary OTP) that can be generated from the mAadhaar app to authenticate without having to wait for an OTP SMS.
Will all the measures from UIDAI help make Aadhaar secure is something that remains to be seen. But right now, it seems to be a good move to ensure add every possible method to keep your biometric data safe.