UIDAI announces phased rollout of face authentication

Aadhaar-issuing body UIDAI (Unique Identity Authority of India) has announced phased roll-out of face recognition for carrying out Aadhaar authentication from September 15, 2018 as additional security layer. It also has announced new feature ‘live face photo,’ which is live feed of person facial features whose 12-digit unique number Aadhaar is submitted.

Face recognition

The face authentication will be in addition to fingerprint or iris scans for Aadhaar authentication. In initial phase, telecom service providers (TSPs) will be first to use face recognition to authenticate subscribers while issuing new SIM cards. In later phases, it will be rolled out to all agencies using Aadhaar for authentication in phases.


This move is aimed at curbing possibility of fingerprint cloning or spoofing and also seeks to tighten audit process and security around the issuance and activation of mobile SIMs. It will also help to solve authentication problem for those who have issues regarding fingerprint and iris scan. Fingerprints wear out either with person’s old age or due to jobs such as heavy manual labour.

Directions to TSPs

UIDAI has directed TSPs to target at least 10% of their total monthly authentication transactions using face authentication. Any shortfall in transactions using face authentication will be charged at Rs 0.20 per transaction. It will be responsibility of TSPs to verify live photo captured using face authentication at their backend system with photo received in eKYC (electronic know your customer) before activation of SIM. TSP will store both photos in its database for audit purpose.


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