The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has announced launch of a new face recognition feature under the Aadhaar scheme for the telecom sector that will kick-start from 15th of September. The new feature is, face recognition and will be coming soon to all telecom service providers.

In a bid to curb the cases of Aadhaar card forgery happening to issue SIM cards, the UIDAI has come up with a decision to introduce a new feature – the face recognition feature for all telecom service providers. The facial recognition feature was originally to be rolled out on 1st of July this year, but was delayed to later time limits and deadlines kept pushing back. However after a rise in the number of cases of Aadhaar forgery under which the distributor forged details of Aadhaar to issue thousands of SIM cards, the UIDAI has decided to launch the face recognition feature that will work as a perfect way to curb such crimes from occuring.

The new feature will be applicable to all telecom operators’ authentication agencies from 15th September and the UIDAI will soon issue separate set of instructions for the authentication agencies other than telecom agencies. With the introduction of face recognition for issuing new SIM cards, UIDAI hopes that the privacy and security of people, and easy confirmations will be possible. It must be noted that “this instruction (for matching live face photo with eKYC photo) will apply only where Aadhaar is used for issuing SIMs. According to the telecom department’s instructions, if SIM is issued through other means without Aadhaar, these instructions will not apply.”

So from now on, if anyone wants to buy a SIM card, their live face photograph has to match with the one in Aadhar card scan – making sure the purchase of SIM and other alike procedures is completely authenticated. However, this will just be an added step as a two-step verification method has been proposed. The authentication will first be carried out on the basis of fingerprint, iris and face scan as well as soon as an individual provides his Aadhar for the purpose. In case of a virtual ID, fingerprint and iris are still valid. And if it goes wrong due to some reasons, the again face recognition will come to the rescue. The feature will come into effect from 15 September 2018, at least 10% of their total monthly authentication transactions shall be performed using face authentication in this manner.

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