face, India, UID

India adding facial recognition to UID August 1

UIDAI delays introduction of face recognition facility for Aadhaar till August 1 (Hindustan Times)

“The authority in charge of the national identity system had earlier this year announced that it will include face recognition alongside iris or fingerprint scan as a means of verifying users, helping those who face issues in biometric authentication or have worn-out fingerprints…

It is aimed at helping people who face difficulty in biometric authentication due to old age, hardwork or worn-out fingerprints, to authenticate their identity for accessing services, benefits and subsidies.”

It has been a while since we last called attention to India’s UIDAI. Nevertheless, it is very exciting that India is adding facial recognition to its UID toolkit.

A few years ago we posted that in Odisha, a state in eastern India (2014 pop. 43.73 million), there were potentially 1 million true “errors,” or failed enrollments that are potentially valid and are described as those submitted on behalf of “very old people and children (between five to 10 years), whose finger prints and iris scans were not registered properly.”

Moreover, As of May 2015, across India, around 618,000 (0.07%) of UID numbers had been issued with biometric exceptions where UID numbers were issued to individuals who simply could not be enrolled using fingerprint or iris technology.

Adding facial recognition to the UID ecosystem should help bring more people into the system and reduce matching costs for all sorts of verification transactions for everyone due to the ubiquity of mobile cameras versus fingerprint and iris hardware.

Facial recognition seems to have a lot of market momentum at the moment, and because of the sheer size and scope of India’s UID efforts, everything they do produces a trove of data on large-scale biometric deployments.

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