NEW DELHI: UIDAI is expected to make it compulsory, in next 4-5 months, for all biometric devices using Aadhaar authentication to embed Aadhaar encryption key into the device at the time of manufacturing.
Today, all such devices are STQC certified but registration by way of embedding the encryption key of UIDAI will add another security layer to the hardware at a time when such devices are all set to take the centrestage in biometric-based digital payments.
“We are going to say that in India only registered devices will work (for Aadhaar authentication). If you want to use Aadhaar authentication then your devices will have to be registered with us,” Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO of UIDAI said.
Pandey said, registration with UIDAI implied that the device will be embedded with Aadhaar encryption key of UIDAI at manufacturing stage itself.
“Today, if anything has to be used for Aadhaar authentication, it has to be STQC certified. We are now going one step further, we are going to put our encryption key in every device. All devices will have to be registered by us, it will further add to the security,” he said.
Asked about the timeframe in which UIDAI will madate the same, Pandey said, “in the next 4-5 months.”
He said the same would hold true for smartphones or any other biometric device which have to be used for Aadhaar authentication.
However, he emphasised that not all smartphones will require UIDAI registration, and the mandate will only be for devices or phones that want to use Aadhaar authentication.
“You can come out with any number of devices, but if you want some models to work on Aadhaar authentication then you will have to do this,” he explained.
Stating that the work on this started almost six months back, he said, “We aways try to look ahead to see what kind of threats can come in future, and how to ensure more security”.
Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the nodal body responsible for rolling out the Aadhaar programme in the country, has also come out in favour of “incentives” for shopkeepers using the biometric mode for digital transactions, in line with commission given by banks to business correspondents, in a bid to promote Aadhaar-based payment system in rural pockets.
“If a merchant is using Aadhaar-enabled payment systems then he should be put at par with business correspondent and whatever facility and commission is available to the business correspondent, he should be paid on the same lines,” Pandey said.