Aadhaar-body Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) confirmed the delay in rolling out the Face Recognition technology for authentication. UIDAI was supposed to implement the facial recognition authentication method for Aadhaar by July 1, however, the same will be now implemented by August 1, as confirmed by UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan to PTI. He added that the Aadhaar body required some more time to prepare the new authentication technology. "We are working on that. From August 1, we should be able to do it. All this is technology, and while we target a date this is not something as if we are buying things off-the-shelf. These things are being developed...," Pandey said to PTI.
A couple of months ago, the Aadhaar-body stated that it would be rolling out Facial Recognition technology as a verification method, alongside IRIS and biometric scanning technologies, which are already active. The idea behind implementing Face Recognition technology is to help those who face issues in fingerprint authentication such as worn-out fingerprints and others.
For the planned rollout, he added: "We are trying out best to have this released from August 1." Earlier, UIDAI stated that the Facial Recognition would be implemented only when the user authenticates using either fingerprint or IRIS or OTP. This mode is called 'Fusion Mode.' So the Face Recognition authentication works as a supporting method to other verification methods.
"From August 1, it will be available to user agencies. We will then watch how it performs in the field...If more tuning or adjustment is required, we will do that, and in the next few months, this whole process should get stabilised. We will then make it applicable across all our users," Pandey added further.
Pandey also confirmed there's no cut-off date for all agencies to implement the new Face authentication method. "It is a step in new direction. It is something unprecedented ... Even if we want to do it as early as possible, it is difficult to specify definite timeframe," he said.
The chief person also added that so far 121.17 crore people have been enrolled for Aadhaar and has made 19.6 billion authentications. Very recently, UIDAI asked telcos to make use of the Virtual ID technology to issue new SIM cards or re-verifying the SIM card.