The Unique Identification Authority of India on Wednesday delayed the introduction of facial recognition facility for Aadhaar authentication by one month to August 1, apparently to ensure a smooth roll-out, PTI reported.

In January, the UIDAI said it was working to enable facial recognition for Aadhaar authentication as an added layer of security for the 12 biometric-based identification number that the government wants very Indian to have. The authority had said it will launch the service by July 1.

“We are working on that....from August 1, we should be able to do it,” UIDAI Chief Exectuive Officer Ajay Bhushan Pandey told PTI. “All this is technology, and while we target a date this is not something as if we are buying things off-the-shelf. These things are being developed. We are trying out best to have this released from August 1.”

The UIDAI had earlier said that face authentication will only be allowed along with another authentication tool – either fingerprint, iris scan or OTP authentication. “Even if it takes a few more months, it is not as if people are being denied benefits in its absence,” Pandey said. “As long as we have an exception handling mechanism, it will ensure that anyone with fingerprint authentication difficulty or failure will be provided alternate means and given the benefits.”

The UIDAI chief said the service will be first be made available to Authentication Service Agencies. After the process is stabilised, it will be applicable to all users.

Till now, fingerprint and iris scan were used for authentication. The authority had said many people were facing difficulties in using fingerprint or iris authentication.