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#VASAsia: Using Voice For Unique ID / Aadhaar Authentication?

A few days ago, while writing about the authentication API from India's unique identification authority Aadhaar, we suggested that biometric scans should not be a prerequisite for Aadhaar authentication for services, since that would end up limiting the usage of Aadhaar only to physical verification: mobile devices cannot do fingerprint and Iris scans yet. At the same time, Aadhaar authentication would be essential for reducing KYC costs for mobile transactions as well, which Nokia has suggested,is a substantial cost (Read: Nokia's Mobile Payment Suggestions) At VAS Asia,  Speech solutions company Nuance Communications showcased an implementation that they've done, for voice based authentication of rural daily wage laborers for India's National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. Now the problem with the NREGS has been, as was reported by NDTV a few weeks ago, cases of faking identities to collect wages on behalf of people who weren't enrolled, or even in existence. In conversation with MediaNama, Sunny Rao Managing Director (India & South East Asia) for Nuance explained how they're authenticating workers. When a worker registers for a program, they go through a voice enrollment process for authentication: the coordinator asks them to answer a few questions using their voice, creating a voice password. When someone turns up for work, their attendance is marked using a similar voice authentication process, and money is also collected after verification using the voice. But what about a long term verification, like is required in the UID? The UID's biometric authentication is using fingerprints or an iris scan;…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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