In wake of recent privacy concerns regarding one of the biggest projects ever launched in India – Aadhaar, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has introduced two more layers of security to the plethora of data being stored into UIDAI database.
One is the much-hyped Face Recognition along with already present biometrics iris and fingerprints. And another one is biometric lock feature. Both the methods are expected to increase security by adding another layer of verification.
Face Recognition to access aadhaar related data will be implemented from July 2018 onwards.
What UIDAI says about this new aadhaar feature?
The official statement on Face Recognition released by UIDAI reads as “This facility is going to help in inclusive to authentication of those who are not able to biometrically authenticate due to their worn out fingerprints, old age or hard work conditions.” They further added about the facilities “At the time of Aadhaar enrolment, the photo of the face of the resident is captured. To provide inclusive authentication, face photo can be leveraged to verify the identity of an Aadhaar member holder.”
As the face photo is already available in UIDAI database, there is no need to capture any new data. Face Authentication with liveliness detection can be used as an additional factor to increase security. This does not mean that you have to go to an aadhaar center again for the authentication of face recognition details. The UIDAI will work with Biometric Device Providers to integrate face modality into certified registered device service as required by the ecosystem.
Aadhaar Biometric Data Lock
The UIDAI has in place a ‘biometric lock’ as an additional layer of protection against outside instructions or breach of aadhaar related data.
How to lock Aadhaar Biometric Data?
An average of 4 crore Aadhaar authentications are done on a daily basis, while over 1500 crore authentications have taken place so far but not many know or perhaps use a feature called the ‘biometric lock’ that allows a user to seal or lock their biometric information.
User can lock their biometric by simply going to the UIDAI website or its app and choosing the option and entering their Aadhar number. To avail this service, a registered mobile number is essential. Once the lock clicks into place and the system is enabled, it will simply not accept a biometric request.
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A user can unlock for specific transactions and then lock the biometric back again. When residents enable biometric locking system, their biometric remains unlocked till the Aadhaar holder chooses to either unlock it or disable the locking system. UIDAI CEO, Ajay Bhushan Pandey, says that the idea behind the facility was to “rule out” possibilities of anyone even attempting to misuse biometric information.
These two new features will increase the security level of the most important document in the country currently.