In order to provide more choice to citizens authenticating using Aadhaar, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDA) has introduced face authentication along with fingerprints and iris. This measure will be used in “Fusion” alonng with existing modes of authenication such as fingerprints, iris and OTP (one-time-password). Implemented by July of this year, facial authentication is also expected to increase security by adding another layer of verification.
In a notification released on Monday, UIDAI said, “At the time of Aadhaar enrolment, photo of the face of resident is also captured. To provide inclusive authentication, face photo can also be leveraged to verify the identity of a Aadhaar number holder.” It added that face authentication will provide “additional choice” for those having difficulty with their fingerprints/iris authentication. As face photo is already available in UIDA1 database there is no need to capture any new data. And since Camera is now pervasively available on laptops and mobiles making the face capture easily feasible for authentication agencies without needing any additional hardware. “Face authentication with liveness detection can be used as an additional factor to increase security,” the notification said.
This does not mean that you have to go to an Aadhaar centre again for authentication of face recognition details. The UIDAI will be tapping into its database for the feature. In fact, it will work with biometric device providers to integrate face modality into certified registered devices and also provide standalone registered device service as required by the ecosystem.
The UIDAI has already added extra firewall for privacy with virtual IDs and limited KYC. Apart from that it has in place a ‘biometric lock’ as an additional layer of protection against outside intrusions or breach.
This how you do it
The extent of Aadhaar usage can well be gauged from the fact that an average of 4 crore authentications are being done on a daily basis, while over 1,500 authentication have taken place so far. But not many know or perhaps use a feature called the biometric lock that allows a user to seal or lock their biometric information.
User can ring-fence their biometrics by simply going to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) website or its app, and choosing the option and entering their Aadhaar number.
A registered mobile number is essential to avail this service.
Once the lock clicks into place and the system is enabled, it will simply not accept a biometric request, much like a physical lock blocking an unauthorised access.
A user can unlock for specific transactions and then lock the biometrics back again.
When residents enable biometric locking system, their biometric remains locked till the Aadhaar holder chooses to either unlock it (which is for a temporary period) or disable the locking system, an official said.
UIDAI CEO, Ajay Bhushan Pandey says that the idea behind the facility was to “rule out” possibility of anyone even attempting to misuse biometric information.