The Indian government has asked Indian telecom service providers to enable a re-verification scheme using the One Time Password (OTP) for authentication of existing mobile users, a move aimed at simplifying the Aadhaar-based verification for customers, especially senior citizens with disabilities, among others.
In addition, the government has also asked these telcos to enable IRIS based authentication re-verification, given that some senior citizens would not be able to complete fingerprint verification due to poor fingerprint quality, disability or old age.
The re-verification exercise is scheduled to be completed by early 2018.
India’s telecom department, in a note on Wednesday, said, “It has come to our notice that some of the residents, especially senior citizens, face difficulty in verifying their identity using fingerprint-based Aadhar authentication. Further, there are cases where residents due to being bedridden, physically challenged and are not able to visit service points of telecom service providers. Such instances may result in denial of service to them.”
The department said that telecom operators should prepare an appropriate scheme to use OTP based re-verification of mobile subscribers using SMS or IVRS or on their mobile app, and obtain UIDAI’s approval before implementing the OTP-based re-verification.
The department has asked telcos put in place an online mechanism through the website, and other means, for people to request for such service.
Notably, a plea has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the notification of the telecom department on linking of mobile numbers with Aadhaar. The plea has sought direction for quashing of the notification of March 23, issued by the telecom department and holding it “unconstitutional” and “null and void”.
The plea has reportedly sought direction to the telecom operators from implementing this notification and destroy the data already collected.
According to media reports, around 50 crore mobile numbers are already registered in Aadhaar database, and the OTP can be leveraged for re-verification in all of these cases.