Telecom operators are making good use of Aadhaar scanners to verify customer details using eKYC verification. Close to 13.8 lakh biometric devices are in use currently by the telecom sector of India, and UIDAI now announced that the all these devices are now compliant with UIDAI’s new encryption norms.

According to UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey, this move is aimed at adding a new device-level security layer for more smooth functioning. Currently, telecom operators are using eKYC verification for fresh connections and re-verification of existing customers.

“In the telecom sector, about 13.8 lakh fingerprint devices have been upgraded as registered devices with the new encryption key. Telecom industry is now fully compliant,” the UIDAI CEO told Press Trust of India (PTI) recently.

So, about 15 lakh devices have been upgraded to the latest encryption norms, meaning that these devices are now secured with a new layer of encryption as per Pandey. “In all, about 15 lakh devices have been upgraded out of 20 lakh such units in circulation in various sectors…many banks are also in the process of upgrading their biometric units,” he added.

Telecom companies made a great effort in updating all the biometric devices and Pandey lauded the effort of telecom operators. “This is like a third lock. One lock is in form of encryption at the time of biometric capture, then it gets further encrypted at the level of the telecom operator, and then we have our own encryption,” Pandey added.

Earlier this year, the government asked telecom operators to re-verify all its subscribers with eKYC verification, which uses the 12-digit unique Aadhaar number. Telecom operators are allocated one year of time for re-verifying all the customers. Also, the government has made Aadhaar-based eKYC essential for subscribers going for new SIM cards.

Pandey also revealed that UIDAI’s next priority is to ensure the new encryption norms in other agencies such as banks and government offices. “We will soon take stock of those who have not complied and ask them to explain why it has not been done yet”, Pandey concluded.

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