India

Fingerprint scans for Aadhaar will get a new “liveness” check: Centre

An official statement says that the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and the electronics and IT ministry have developed a way to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to make the biometric authentication of Aadhaar numbers more secure and reliable.

A statement released on Friday said the new system uses “a combination of both finger minutia and finger image to check the liveness of the finger print captured.” “This makes Aadhaar authentication transactions even safer and more reliable.”

“The move will be very helpful in areas like banking and finance, telecommunications, and government,” it said. “It will also help people at the bottom of the pyramid because it will strengthen the Aadhaar-based payment system and stop bad people from trying to do harm.”

Aadhaar is a 12-digit number linked to a person’s fingerprints and iris. This gives them a unique identity. This identity is linked to this person’s bank information, phone number, government programmes, and other financial services.

“By the end of December 2022, the total number of Aadhaar authentication transactions will have topped 88.29 billion, with an average of 70 million transactions per day,” said the statement. “The fact that fingerprints are used for most shows how useful they are in everyday life.”

In March of last year, UIDAI told Parliament that there had been a sharp rise in financial transactions where an authorised operator or staff member’s gummy finger was used to try to get into the authentication system without permission. In 2019ā€“2022, 4,088 of these unique counts were found, which added up to 13,864 transactions worth about 10 crore.

“A First Information Report (FIR) has been filed for unauthorised authentication in all of these cases. UIDAI has a strong and strict way of finding these kinds of cases and making sure they are reported to the right law enforcement agencies so they can take the right steps,” it had said.

The new security system works perfectly, the statement from Friday said.

In August of last year, the central government told Parliament that out of the 1.3 billion people in the country, only 95 million had not yet signed up for Aadhaar. Out of these, about 83 million are thought to be children ages 0 to 5. Aadhaar numbers are needed for several government welfare programmes and services, but there have been worries about security from time to time.

A Supreme Court lawyer and the founder of Cybersaathi, NS Nappinai, said that it’s always a good idea to use technology to help everyone and make things safer. “As we move forward with AI and other tech-enabled processes, it’s just as important, if not more important, to make sure that the checks and balances for these kinds of uses are quickly written into laws and rules,” she said. “There is an urgent and immediate need to set up boundaries and protect against misuse or abuse, or even to take preventative steps to protect AI and biometrics through laws.”

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Nisha

Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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