Aadhaar face authentication feature put on hold

The telecom department has put Aadhaar-based face authentication on hold and in a letter sent to the UIDAI, the telecom department said that the Supreme Court judgement is pending on petitions challenging issuance of new mobile connections and re-verification through the use of the unique identity.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) in a letter dated September 19, 2018, to the UIDAI CEO said that the judgement on a petition filed in the apex court challenging Aadhaar based e-KYC process is expected to be delivered this month.

The mobile operators sought more time to implement the UIDAI-mandated face authentication feature, citing non-preparedness of biometric device makers.

UIDAI is expected to rollout face recognition feature as an additional mode of authentication for Aadhaar on Saturday, starting with telecom service providers.
“…it has been decided by the department that the instructions for implementation of face authentication in Aadhaar based e-KYC (know your customer) process including amendments in consumer application form/database formats may be issued by DoT to TSPs after procurement of final judgement on Aadhaar by Hon’ble Supreme Court after comprehensive re-look on the whole Aadhaar based e-KYC process,” the letter said.

The UIDAI said the ‘live face photo’ capture and its verification with the photo obtained in eKYC will be essential in those cases where Aadhaar is used for issuance of mobile SIMs. It had proposed a monetary disincentive for telcos found slipping on the prescribed targets.

The Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) in August had directed all telecom service providers (TSPs) to implement double factor authentication in their system using matching of the face of the subscriber as captured in Aadhaar from September 15, 2018, onward.

The operators under the ambit of Apex Advisory Council for Telecom in India (ACT) said that the date of implementation of face authentication should be at least two months from the date that the device ecosystem is ready, and till such time no penalty should be levied.

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