India to add facial authentication for Aadhaar card security

India to add facial authentication for Aadhaar card security
An operator works on his table while enrolling villagers for the Unique Identification (UID) database system at an enrolment centre at Merta district in Rajasthan. February 21, 2013. EUTERS/Mansi Thapliyal/File Photo

 

NEW DELHI, January 15 (Reuters) – India will build facial recognition into its national identity card in addition to fingerprints after a series of breaches in the world’s biggest biometric identification programme, the government said on Monday.

 

A local newspaper reported this month that access to the “Aadhaar” database which has identity details of more than 1 billion citizens was being sold for just $8 on social media.

 

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which issues the identity cards, said it would add face recognition software as an additional layer of security from July.

 

Card holders will be required to match their photographs with that stored in the data base for authentication in addition to fingerprints and iris scans, the agency said in a statement.

 

Many card users have complained in the past that fingerprint authentication has not worked because of changes in the case of the elderly and labourers since the time the original prints were taken.