The UIDAI has delayed the introduction of facial authentication service for Aadhaar by a month to August 1 in order to "ensure a smooth rollout", reported The Economic Times. UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Panday said the feature needed 'fine tuning and adjustment" to see how it performs in the field, after which it will become available to Authentication User Agencies (AUAs). The UIDAI earlier announced facial recognition will be used in "Fusion mode" i.e. alongside other biometric information to address failures in authentication with fingerprints and iris scans. Often, older people and labourers have worn out fingers, which leads to lapses in the verification of their Aadhaar numbers. The UIDAI had announced the feature in January 2018 and had scheduled it for introduction on July 1, 2018. Facial authentication is problematic as it poses security and privacy concerns, and possibly expands the scope for surveillance of Aadhaar holders. It has been pointed out earlier that the mAadhaar app stores user’s eKYC data on the phone itself — this includes the Aadhaar Number, Name, address, photograph among others. An individual’s photograph is classified as ‘biometric information’ under section 2(g) of the Aadhaar Act, 2016. The UIDAI issued a false statement saying that the mAadhaar app does not capture or store any biometric information. Why facial recognition is worrying 1. First, a person's face changes over time at all ages, and very significantly during adolescence. When Aadhaar enrollment began in 2009, it was collecting biometric information (including photograph) of children aged over nine. If…
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