Aadhaar Bill Lok Sabha
Citizen standing in queue for Aadhaar registration. Reuters file

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has allowed face recognition as additional ways for Aadhaar authentication, reported PTI.

This move will ensure easy authentication for individuals who face difficulty in other biometric authentication such as fingerprint and iris. However, this provision only comes in addition to the existing means of authentication.

The facility will be provided from July 1, the official release said. "This facility is going to help in inclusive authentication of those who are not able to biometrically authenticate due to their worn out fingerprints, old age or hard work conditions," the UIDAI said.

Currently, Aadhaar authentication is being done in two biometric modes — fingerprint authentication and iris authentication.

"It shall be allowed only in fusion mode along with one more authentication factor combined with either fingerprint or iris or OTP to be able to successfully authenticate an Aadhaar number holder," UIDAI said.

This new development comes at a time when The Tribune (a north India-based newspaper) investigation claimed that the newspaper could access Aadhaar database and was able to buy login credentials to the UIDAI database. A detailed investigation done by the daily revealed that with just Rs 500, information such as the names, telephone numbers and addresses of millions of people could be bought.

After the Aadhaar data breach incident, to strengthen privacy and security of 12-digit Aadhaar number further, UIDAI introduced Virtual 16-digit ID. Aadhaar holders can use it in lieu of their Aadhaar number to avoid sharing of the actual Aadhaar number at the time of authentication, said a circular issued by UIDAI.

From June 1, 2018, it will be compulsory for all agencies, which undertake authentication, to accept the virtual IDs from their users.