Aadhaar Based Facial Recognition Must For New SIM Card Registrations – UIDAI

Aadhaar-based facial recognition will roll out gradually starting September 15th

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Facial recognition starts for Aadhaar
Facial recognition starts for Aadhaar

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has announced that from now on, Aadhaar based face recognition will be must for all new SIM registrations. However, this is only valid for those SIMs, which are issued using Aadhaar. 

This way, UIDAI had made it clear that facial recognition based Aadhaar authentication will be rolled out in a phased manner, starting September 15th.

That’s not all: there is a provision for penalties as well, in telecom operators fail to meet their targets of face recognition based authentications!

Facial Recognition Must For New SIM Authentications

UIDAI has made it mandatory for new SIM registrations to be authenticated with Aadhaar’s facial recognition method.

This rule has been made mandatory for all those new SIM cards, which are issued based on Aadhaar as ID proof. Hence, we can safely say that most of new Jio SIMs would be now authenticated only with facial recognition method, as Jio SIMs use Aadhaar as one of the primary ID proof method.

UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey said, “This instruction (for matching live face photo with eKYC photo) will apply only where Aadhaar is used for issuance of SIMs. As per Telecom Department’s instructions, if SIM is issued through other means without Aadhaar, then these instructions will not apply,”

How Will It Work?

Starting September 15th, every new SIM card issued via Aadhaar will follow these steps for completing eKYC:

  • User will give his/her face photo to the authorized service provider of telecom operator
  • The face will matched with the face ID present in the Aadhaar
  • eKYC will be completed only the face ids match

In case the new SIM has been issued using any other ID, then facial match is not mandatory.

Note here, that this new directive regarding facial authentication is valid only for Telecom Service Providers, and their authorized retailers who are empowered to conduct Aadhaar based authentications.

New directives shall be soon announced for other agencies who are into Aadhaar authentications.

Besides, a two-factor authentication using fingerprints and facial recognition has also been proposed. More details are awaited.

What Inspired This Move?

In June this year, a unique case of forgery was revealed, when a Hyderabad stamp maker created his personal database of stolen fingerprints, and used them to activate thousands of SIM Cards, using fake names.

He was working near the Telangana Stamps and Registration Department, from where he collected thousands of fingerprints of property owners.

UIDAI seems to have understood that forging fingerprints is now easy.

Besides, UIDAI has made it mandatory that all telecom operators will need to conduct 10% of their overall authentications using facial recognition method only. If this doesn’t happen, then penalty of Rs 0.20 per new SIM registration will be levied.

TSPs are also mandated to store the face capture, for audit purposes.

We will keep you updated, as we receive more updates.

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  1. Taaza Tadka says

    Thank you for Sharing a great blog for reader

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