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Aadhaar Program: Taking a New Look at Secure Identification

Aadhaar Program

Everyone finds themselves in situations where they need to be quickly and securely identified. Whether it involves entering an office building or buying a train ticket or purchasing groceries, each of us is faced with the need to prove who we are.

Instead of being asked to produce an ID card or pull a piece of paperwork out of your pocket, what if you could simply use that unique identifier that we all carry with us every day – your face!

Aadhaar represents a tremendous step forward in terms of providing Indian citizens with a personal 12-digit number and an ID card. But imagine if we could take secure identity verification one step further. Instead of just having a person’s picture on the card, it could be mapped to a 3D scan of their face. This would increase the level of secure verification and enable expansion of this innovative identification program. An enhanced level of trusted authentication might drive improvements in delivery of important government services for example, other applications might include more secure and less complicated interaction with financial services providers or access to public transportation or simplify delivery of healthcare.

Today’s mobile 3D face scanning technology is able to deliver fast, frictionless and secure authentication by identifying the range of characteristics that make every face different. Today’s solutions capture 15-20,000 data points per facial scan, covering everything from skin tone to distance between the eyes, length of the nose, size of the ears and many other factors. Plus, this can all be done in almost any kind of setting – regardless of lighting conditions or artifacts created any movement of the person being scanned. And it is not fooled by masks or photos or video.

3D face recognition delivers fast and accurate identification and might be a logical way to extend the Aadhaar identity program. The availability of tiny, robust 3D cameras combined with AI-driven software is enabling a new way for governments, businesses and other organizations to deliver an improved customer experience for their users as well as reduce the risk of unauthorized access to their critical systems.

Everybody already has a special way to distinguish themselves from everyone else. And they have it with them all the time, no matter the time of day, location or setting. And – it’s their face! I look forward to expanded adoption of 3D face authentication and using it to deliver secure access to services whether it is applying for a passport, opening a bank account, purchasing insurance, interacting with telephone and mobile phone providers or buying rail tickets.

We have the capability today – let’s use it!

(The author is a technology evangelist with seven US patents and CEO of SensibleVision, which makes facial-recognition software.)

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