Face recognition must for new mobile SIM registration from Sept 15: UIDAI
If you plan to use Aadhaar to get a new SIM card on or after September 15, you will also need to undergo facial verification. UIDAI plans to extend this new security measure to other services — banks, public distribution system, office attendance at government offices etc — that also use Aadhaar authentication, in a phased manner. But for now, it will be limited to issuance of mobile SIM.
However, the ‘live face photo’ capture and its verifiation with the photo obtained in eKYC will be essential only in those cases where Aadhaar is used to issue mobile SIMs, a report by news agency Press Trust of India said.
The face-recognition will be an additional security feature along with the already available fingerprint and iris (eyes) verification.
This will especially be beneficial for people who encounter difficulty in authentication due to worn out fingerprints — due to old age or manual labour.
UIDAI has proposed a two-factor authentication for use of face recognition by telcos. Where an individual provides Aadhaar number, the authentication will be done using fingerprint or iris and face. For individuals providing Virtual ID, the authentication can be on basis of fingerprint or iris.
In case an individual is unable to authenticate fingerprint or iris, face authentication can be used as an additional mode.
According to the Aadhaar-issuing body, the move is aimed at curbing the possibility of fingerprint spoofing or cloning, and seeks to tighten the audit process and security around issuance and activation of mobile SIMs.
“Combination of a live face with a fingerprint in authentication will also enhance Aadhaar security as it will effectively curb fingerprint spoofing,” UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey told PTI.
According to the PTI report, the circular also states that after successful eKYC authentication, the telecom operators will also capture the live face photo (that is, not merely holding a still photo in front of a camera) of the individual, over and above the photo captured for face authentication.
“It shall be the responsibility of the TSP that the live photo thus captured shall be verified at their backend system with the photo received in eKYC before activation of the SIM.
“The TSP shall store both the photos in its database for audit purpose…this process shall be followed for the eKYC performed for all the customers for issuance of SIM cards,” the circular said.
The UIDAI has also proposed a penalty for telecom companies that fail to comply with the new norms.
“TSPs are hereby directed that with effect from September 15, 2018, at least 10 per cent of their total monthly authentication transactions shall be performed using face authentication in this manner.
Any shortfall in transactions using face authentication would be charged at Rs 0.20 per transaction,” said a UIDAI circular.
A report in national daily ‘The Times of India’ said the authentication process at the end of UIDAI was “very sophisticated” and will not be impacted by changes to a person’s face.
“Even if someone grows a beard, there will not be any issue in identifying his face with the picture that was originally submitted with us. We have sophisticated mechanisms. The whole idea is to provide convenience and additional security to the users,” Pandey was quoted as saying by the paper.
The decision to rollout face-recognition feature in a phased manner was taken since various AUAs (Authentication User Agencies) were not in a position to implement the technology with effect in time.
“Therefore, to avoid any inconvenience to the public it has been decided to roll out the face authentication in a phased manner,” UIDAI said.
“TSPs are hereby directed that with effect from September 15, 2018, at least 10 per cent of their total monthly authentication transactions shall be performed using face authentication in this manner. Any shortfall in transactions using face authentication would be charged at Rs 0.20 per transaction,” said a UIDAI circular.