UIDAI’s biometric verification programme is all set to begin face authentication for your SIM to get linked with one’s Aadhaar Card which is essential now.
Telecom operators didn’t issue new SIM cards without linking Aadhaar numbers which is a violation of the Supreme Court order.
UIDAI has asked telecom operators to verify the identity of those who have indeed linked their Aadhaar to SIM card through “face authentication” — a “live face photo” will be taken and verified with the photo that a user had submitted during the initial KYC procedure. (But isn’t Aadhaar supposed to be an identity verification in itself?). UIDAI has asked telecom operators to complete at least 10% of the process by September 15, or be ready to pay a fine. Which means telcos would now hound you to undergo the process.
Though, at the outset, the procedure’s stated aim is to verify a “live photo” with the one submitted, there is no clarity on the device and software that would be used to conduct this. This matters because…
Face recognition data has a wider scope for misuse than iris or fingerprint, where you need to make contact with a device (fingerprint) or look at a device from a close distance (iris) for anyone to carry out an identity verification. Face recognition, on the other hand, can be carried out from a distance — even by a high-resolution CCTV camera (Thus favoured by China).