UIDAI makes facial recognition mandatory for all services amid Aadhaar data security debates

While the security of data linked with Aadhaar is already been in debates for a while, now the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has made facial recognition mandatory for all services that require Aadhaar.

According to India Today, the facial recognition has been made mandatory for all services that require Aadhaar authentication including banking and mobile operators and government welfare schemes. The facial recognition will be done by taking on-the-spot pictures in addition to the photo submitted for KYC formalities. This new feature will have to be done along with either an iris scan or fingerprint scan.

According to the UIDAI, the move has been implemented to increase the inclusiveness of the Aadhaar programme. The move is expected to help those who are unable to get Aadhaar verification done due to problems in scanning fingerprints. These include the elderly as well as labourers.

The UIDAI has asked telecom service providers to ensure that their ecosystem has the facial recognition technology. The telecom operators have been informed that, from September 15, ten percent of the monthly transaction should employ facial recognition. In its notification the UIDAI has also stated that if it failed to comply with the rule, the UIDAI will constitute it as a criminal offence under the Aadhaar Act 2016, punishable by imprisonment or a fine.

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