MeraNews Network, New Delhi: Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has announced a new measure that makes facial recognition mandatory for every authentication that requires Aadhaar.

UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey said that the facial recognition will come as an additional feature along with the regular authentication process that identifies an individual based on fingerprints or eye scans.

The measure is being implemented following official circulars issued by UIDAI to Authentication User Agencies, Authentication Service Agencies, and certified biometric device providers. Services that most commonly use Aadhaar authentication include the issue of mobile SIM, banks, public distribution system and office attendance at government offices.

Pandey said the measure is being used to provide an added security layer, while also making the Aadhaar process 'more inclusive'. He said there have been numerous instances where people have been excluded from Aadhaar authentication as their fingerprints are worn out due to old age, or since they are involved in manual labor or agriculture. The use of facial recognition will help include such people in the Aadhaar authentication process, UIDAI said.

New authentication process will be rolled out in a phased manner, and would initially be mandated for providers of SIM cards of telecom companies. Telecom operators have been directed that with effect from September 15 of this year, at least 10 percent of their total monthly authentication transactions should be performed using facial recognition.

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