Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Securing Digital Identity: UIDAI’s Shift from L0 to L1 Fingerprint Devices


                              In the digital age, security is non-negotiable. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) recognizes this and is leading the way in enhancing security protocols for Aadhaar-based  authentication transactions. With a steadfast commitment to end to-end encryption and stringent security measures, UIDAI is setting a new benchmark in biometric data protection.

The Need for Enhanced Security

                              UIDAI has recently mandated a transition from fingerprint Level 0 (L0) Registered Devices (RD) to the more secure fingerprint Level 1 (L1) RD. This upgrade represents a significant advancement in securing biometric data at its source, thereby preventing any potential misuse by third-party applications.

Understanding L0 vs. L1 Devices

                              The key difference between L0 and L1 devices lies in the processing of biometric data. In L0 devices, encryption and signing of biometric data occur on the host device after scanning. In contrast, L1 devices perform encryption and signing directly on the scanning device itself, ensuring that biometric data is secured before it even leaves the device.

Certification of L1 Devices

                                 The first batch of these robust L1 RD devices has been certified as of 30th October 2022, marking a significant step toward a more secure authentication ecosystem.

Transition Strategy

                                Currently, all fingerprint devices in the authentication ecosystem adhere to L0 standards. To ensure a smooth transition without disrupting existing systems, all deployed fingerprint L0 RD will be gradually phased out. By 30th June 2024, only fingerprint L1 RD will be authorized to perform Aadhaar-based authentications. This gives Authentication User Agencies (AUA) and KYC User Agencies (KUA) ample time to procure fingerprint L1 RD for their systems.

Continued Use of Iris Devices 

                               It’s important to note that iris devices, being relatively more secure, so all the Iris L0 RD will continue to function as present.

                              UIDAI’s move to fingerprint L1 RD devices is a clear indication of their dedication to enhancing digital security, and directions have already been issued to all AUA/KUAs to replace their old/deployed L0 RD with the new L1 RD.

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