UIDAI makes face recognition feature mandatory for Aadhaar authentication

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has announced new measure to make facial recognition mandatory for every authentication that requires Aadhaar. The facial recognition will come as additional feature along withregular authentication process that includes identification of an individual based on fingerprints or eye scans.

Key Facts

This new measure for using facial recognition is being implemented following official circulars issued by UIDAI to Authentication Service Agencies, Authentication User Agencies and certified biometric device providers. It is being used to provide additional security layer and also make Aadhaar process more inclusive. This process will be rolled out in phased manner and it will be initially mandated for providers of SIM cards of telecom service providers (TSPs). The telecom operators have been directed that at least 10% of their total monthly authentication transactions should be performed using facial recognition from September 15, 2018.


The most common services that require Aadhaar authentication include issuance of mobile SIM cards, banks verification, public distribution system (PDS) and office attendance at government offices. There have been numerous instances where people have been excluded from Aadhaar authentication as their fingerprints were worn out due to old age or because of being involved in manual labour or agriculture. The use of facial recognition will help include such people in Aadhaar authentication process.

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)

UIDAI is nodal statutory organization behind Aadhaar, a 12 digit unique number. It was granted statutory status by Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016. Aadhaar is 10 digit number is linked with an individual’s demographic and biometric information, which serves as an authentication tool throughout India. Using Aadhaar, Union and State Governments are trying to link many of their major development and subsidy schemes to reduce leakages and duplication.



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