Individuals providing Aadhaar number as proof for availing new sim will have to undergo a 2-step authentication from September 15. This includes fingerprint or iris and face recognition.
However, individuals providing Virtual Ids (A Virtual ID is a temporary, revocable 16-digit random number that is mapped with the Aadhaar number) can use fingerprint or iris authentication. Face recognition will be placed as an additional authentication if fingerprint or iris recognition does not work.
UIDAI has also proposed 2-step authentication for Telcos for the roll out of the first phase of face recognition. This was earlier stated for release on July 1, 2018 then on Aug 1, 2018. Now it has been fixed in the middle of September. Any Telecom Service Provider (TSP) that fails to adhere will have to face monetary disincentive.
‘TSPs are hereby directed that with effect from the date of 15th of September, 2018 at least 10 per cent of their total monthly authentication transactions shall be performed using face authentication in this manner. Any type of shortfall in transactions with the help of a face authentication would be charged at Rs 0.20 per transaction,’ the UIDAI circular read.
‘It shall be the responsibility of the TSP that the live photo thus captured shall be verified at their back end system with the photo received in eKYC before activation of the SIM,’ the circular further read.
The Hyderabad mishap
In June this year, a Hyderabad-based SIM card distributor forged Aadhaar details for activating thousands of SIMs. Face recognition was thus proposed to curb fingerprint cloning and to tighten the security of mobile SIMs.
Face recognition identifies a person by analyzing patterns based on a person’s facial contours. However if the lighting conditions are unfavorable or if the facial expressions vary then it is ineffective.
Last month, Amazon’s Rekognition (Amazon’s facial recognition system) API incorrectly matched 28 members of Congress (in the US) to criminal mugshots as per American Civil Liberties Union.