The Indian authorities is permitting banks to confirm particular person transactions that exceed a sure annual restrict utilizing facial recognition and an iris scan in some circumstances, in a bid to cut back fraud and tax evasion, three sources informed Reuters.
Just a few giant non-public and public banks have begun utilizing the choice, mentioned one of many sources, a banker, who declined to call the banks. The advisory permitting the verification just isn’t public and has not beforehand been reported.
The verification just isn’t obligatory and is meant for circumstances the place one other authorities identification card used for tax functions, the Everlasting Account Quantity (PAN) card, just isn’t shared with banks.
The prospect of banks utilizing facial recognition has involved some privateness consultants.
“This raises substantial privateness considerations particularly when India lacks a devoted legislation on privateness, cybersecurity and facial recognition,” mentioned Pavan Duggal, an advocate and cyber legislation professional.
The federal government has mentioned it’s concentrating on parliamentary approval of a brand new privateness legislation by early 2023.
The brand new measures might be used to confirm identities of people making deposits and withdrawals exceeding Rs. 2 million in a monetary yr, the place the Aadhaar id card is shared as proof of establish, mentioned two authorities officers, who requested to not be named as a result of the data just isn’t public.
The Aadhaar card has a singular quantity tied to a person’s fingerprints, face and eye scan.
India’s finance ministry in December requested banks to take “obligatory motion” on a letter by the Distinctive Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which instructed verification ought to be completed by way of facial recognition and iris scanning, particularly the place fingerprint authentication of a person fails.
The letter from the UIDAI, which is chargeable for Aadhaar card issuance, makes no point out of a consent framework for the verification. Nor does it say that banks can take any motion if a buyer refuses.
Responding to Reuters’ queries, a UIDAI spokesperson mentioned Aadhaar verification and authentication occurs solely with the specific consent of the consumer. Use of Aadhaar-based biometric authentication helps in guarding towards potential misuse, he mentioned.
“UIDAI commonly advises all authentication and verification entities to use face or iris authentications to cater to residents whose fingerprint authentication fails.” He added that authentication and verification doesn’t imply storing of information.
The newest advisory follows a authorities order final yr that mandated the quoting of an Aadhaar card or PAN quantity for making deposits or withdrawals exceeding 2 million rupees in a monetary yr.
The federal finance ministry didn’t reply to requests for remark.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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