On the mission to improvise security and reliability of the biometric identity commonly known as the Aadhaar card, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has announced a new feature – the facial recognition; mandating face verification for all Aadhaar-related services.

As the security and reliability of world’s largest biometric database – Aadhaar continues being questioned to, the UIDAI has a new measure to make it more secure with facial recognition. By mandating facial recognition, every user will require to go through face verification linking to their Aadhaar cards. Furthermore, one will require to take an extra security check while accessing various services, by taking on-the-spot live pictures – for every authentication that needs Aadhaar verification as a compulsory step.

The most commonly used services needing Aadhaar are – issue of mobile SIM (new or replacement), banks, office attendances and public distribution systems. Which means, all these services will now require facial recognition scans as an additional feature to the existing authentication process that consists of fingerprint and iris scans. Facial verification will soon be practiced, considering the official circulars sent out by the UIDAI on August 17 to all Authentication User Agencies (AUAs), Authentication Service Agencies (ASAs) and certified biometric device providers.

From September 15, at least 10% of monthly transactions conducted by telecom companies are required to be employed with facial recognition, failing which they will be charged a fee per transaction. Also, if any of the pre-mentioned agencies or service providers fail to follow the steps, it will be treated as a criminal offence and is punishable with jail and fine under Section 42 and 43 of the Aadhaar Act 2016. While on the other hand, the Supreme Court is just about to decided and announce the final verdict on the existence of Aadhaar.