When your own fingerprints make your Aadhaar invalid!
Given the poor reputation of mobile operators, I would never ever have opted for buying the Reliance JIO phone. It was only after my daughter insisted that I should buy the phone, which was available for just Rs4,000, that I was interested. She also told me that she was happy with her JIO phone and 4G connection.
The only document you need for JIO’s 4G connection is your Aadhaar number. When my husband tried to register for the services through his valid Aadhaar number, the devices simply failed to recognise his fingerprints registered at the time of obtaining the unique ID number. While we all were shocked to see this happen, an executive from JIO casually stated that this happens with many people and suggested my husband to re-submit his biometrics to the UIDAI. Till he does it, his Aadhaar number would remain invalid. 
As it is, the Aadhaar number has been forcefully imposed on citizens violating Supreme Court order and now, the government seems totally unaccountable to such serious errors. Well, we will have to go through the round of re-submitting biometrics all over again but I just wanted to check whether my husband’s was a freak case. A friend said fingerprints go awry as you grow older. 
Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner, too faced similar issues, a few months back. While completing his know-your-customer (KYC) procedure at HDFC bank, the system refused to validate his Aadhaar through thumbprints. After the incident, he wrote, “I could do my KYC with other documents, but the horror of this hit me. If the system cannot recognise people from its database with the thumb impression, what would happen to those whose foodgrains, pension or employment guarantee scheme (EGS) wages depend on it?” (Read: When Aadhaar was about to make me 'Niradhaar' )  
Testing by the International Biometric Group (IBG) shows that performance can vary drastically within technologies -- some fingerprint solutions, for example, had next to no errors during testing, while others rejected nearly 1/3rd of enrolled users. "Most interestingly, the testing shows that over time, many biometric systems are prone to incorrectly rejecting a substantial percentage of users. Verifying a user immediately after enrolment is not highly challenging to biometric systems. However, after six weeks, testing shows that some systems' error rates increase ten-fold," said the research, consulting and integration firm, which works closely with the biometric industry. The report is titled "Real-World Performance Testing". (Read: Aadhaar de-duplication myth busted. Any answers, Mr Nilekani? )
Moneylife too has been highlighting the issue of ageing of biometrics like fingerprint, iris and voice over time. A paper from Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) titled ‘Role of Biometric Technology in Aadhaar Authentication’ based on studies carried out by UIDAI from January 2011 to January 2012 on Aadhaar biometric authentication reveals that the studies ‘focused on fingerprint biometric and its impact on authentication accuracy’ in the Indian context.
Such absolute faith in biometric technology is based on a misplaced assumption that are parts of human body that does not age, wither and decay with the passage of time. Basic research on whether or not unique biological characteristics of human beings is reliable under all circumstances of life is largely conspicuous by its absence in India and even elsewhere. 
Another study titled “Experimental Evidence of a Template Aging Effect in Iris Biometrics” supported by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Biometrics Task Force and the Technical Support Working Group through Army contract has demolished the widely accepted fact that iris biometric systems are not subject to a template aging effect. The study provides evidence of a template aging effect. A “template aging effect” is defined as an increase in the false reject rate with increased elapsed time between the enrolment image and the verification image. The study infers, “We find that a template aging effect does exist. We also consider controlling for factors such as difference in pupil dilation between compared images and the presence of contact lenses, and how these affect template aging, and we use two different algorithms to test our data.” (Read: Aadhaar: Is the biometric data of human body immortal and ageless? )
I also checked if there are similar complaints about Aadhaar fingerprints not matching at the Complaint Board of National Consumer Complaint Forum website. The nature of complaints depict that not only older persons but even youngsters are facing a similar problem. In fact, it cuts across all ages and is causing agony to so many. Here are a few examples (I have reproduced them as it is, without editing it):
August 21, 2016: Jayanthi, student: Plsz don't link e-pass to aadhaar card. Many students fingerprints are showing error while taking because of it scholarships are stopping. That affect the studies to get MBA, degree scholarships.
June 20, 2016: Sai Nirup, student: My fingerprints are not recognising at my college when they are taking for linking to EPASS for fee reimbursement. I completed my final year of B Tech but the certificates are not issued due to lack of aadhaar authentication. My latest fingerprints are updated twice recently still no effect in the college. Please help me through any other procedure 3rd and 4th year scholarship has been stopped
May 27, 2016: Vinod, student: My fingerprints are not recognizing at my college while linking my Aadhaar to E-PASS for fee reimbursement. So please help in solving this problem and please give solution for my problem please and my E-mail ID
April 9, 2016: RC Sharma: My aadhar card is not matching with my eyes and thumb impressions. As such I am not able to receive my pension. I am 66 years old. Kindly help me out of this problem. My aadhar card no is 4**********2.
I could not see any of these complaints being addressed on the website of the National Consumer Complaint Forum (http://ncdrc.nic.in/). There are just a series of complaints from hapless citizens, giving you the impression that, “who’s bothered anyway?’’ 
I even checked if the official website https://uidai.gov.in has anything to tell the hapless citizen if his fingerprints do not match. No, nothing, not even in frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Then I searched and found a video clip of Nandan Nilekani, the former chief of UIDAI, who give vague answers when asked about fingerprints not matching with the biometrics database of Aadhaar. Roughly transcribed, the main point of he what he says is, “If people have, you know, fingers are worn, age... there could be a, it may not go through or whatever. So, iris authentication expands the coverage. So with iris and fingerprint, everyone will be able to authenticate…’’ 
But then why did the those who insisting on using Aadhaar everywhere are not using iris scans? Unfortunately, there is no answer forthcoming. One of the reasons could be higher costs of installing, calibrating and using iris scanner for Aadhaar verification or authentication. In addition, nobody is willing to spend money on this, including UIDAI, the Indian government, which are enforcing Aadhaar for everything or even the private players.
I stumbled upon a report from a Committee on UIDAI’s Design Standards for Biometrics Application in India. The Committee too had raised doubts about efficacy of fingerprints as biometrics when used for a large population like India. It has also stressed that operators who conduct the biometrics must do it meticulously. Here are the excerpts:
“After reviewing international standards and current national recommendations, the Committee concluded that the ISO 19794 series of biometrics standards for fingerprints, face and iris set by the International Standards Organization are the most suitable. These standards are widely accepted, and best embody previous experiences of the US and Europe with biometrics…The Committee notes that face is the most commonly captured biometric, and frequently used in manual checking. However, on standalone basis, automatic face recognition does not provide a high level of accuracy, and can only be used to supplement a primary biometric modality. Fingerprinting, the oldest biometric technology, has the largest market share of all biometrics modalities globally. The fingerprint industry also has a variety of suppliers and a base of experienced professionals necessary to implement the unique identity management solution at the scale that India requires.”
“Based on these factors, the Committee recognises that fingerprints-based biometric system shall be at the core of the UIDAI’s de-duplication efforts. The Committee however, is also conscious of the fact that de-duplication of the magnitude required by the UIDAI has never been implemented in the world…Two factors, however, raise uncertainty about the accuracy that can be achieved through fingerprints. First, retaining efficacy while scaling the database size from 50 million to a billion has not been adequately analysed. Second, fingerprint quality, the most important variable for determining de-duplication accuracy, has not been studied in depth in the Indian context.” 
“The Committee therefore held extensive meetings and discussions with international experts and technology suppliers. A technical sub-group was also formed to collect Indian fingerprints and analyse quality. Over 2,50,000 fingerprint images from 25,000 persons were sourced from districts of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa. Nearly all the images were from rural regions, and were collected by different agencies using different capture devices, and through different operational processes. The analysis reported in Section 12.4 and the associated Annexure show that the UIDAI could obtain fingerprint quality as good as seen in developed countries, provided that proper operational procedures are followed and good quality devices are used. On the other hand, there is UID Biometrics Design Standards 5 of 57 data to suggest that quality and therefore the accuracy drops precipitously if attention is not given to operational processes…”
Recommendations by the Committee: 
  • In order to capture moderately good fingerprint images, a few simple but critical techniques during enrolment should be consistently followed, failing which material reduction in accuracy would occur. Manual and automated monitoring should be utilized to ensure consistent use of good enrolment practices.
  • In view of the above, the Committee feels that the UIDAI should collect photograph and ten fingerprints as per ISO standards described in Sections 8, 9 and 10.
  • Biometrics data are national assets and must be preserved in their original quality. In other words, quality must not be compromised through lousy image compression during storage or transmission.
  • While 10 finger biometric and photographs can ensure de-duplication accuracy higher than 95% depending upon quality of data collection, there may be a need to improve the accuracy and also create higher confidence level in the de-duplication process.
  • A scheme must be designed to reward enrolling agencies for the capture of good quality images. Specific best practices indicated in Section 12 should be observed in order to ensure interoperability, vendor independence, conformance to standards and improved performance.
However, the tests that the Committee talks about were not full proof. As Moneylife has pointed out, both the union government and UIDAI were in such a hurry that they neglected the basic principle of pilot testing and size of sample. For over 1.2 billion UID numbers, they have used data from just 20,000 people, in pairs, as the sample and on the basis of the results, gone ahead with the UID number through the 'Aadhaar' project. (Read: How UIDAI goofed up pilot test results to press forward with UID scheme )
Notwithstanding similar unforeseen consequences the successive Indian government’s faith in biometric remains unshaken. Is there a biological material in the human body that constitutes biometric data, which is immortal, ageless and permanent?  Besides working conditions, humidity, temperature and lighting conditions also impact the quality of biological material used for generating biometric data. Aadhaar is based on the unscientific and questionable assumption that there are parts of human body likes fingerprint, iris, voice etc” that does not age, wither and decay with the passage of time.
Pray, will the government hold our hands for such a grievous problem through information dissemination on its relevant websites? After all, this is issue of very large public interest since the government is hell-bound to insist on Aadhaar everywhere by ignoring the order from the Supreme Court for not making it mandatory and not depriving social benefits due to lack of the UID number.
(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)
2 years ago
I am a pensioner, I need to submit my "Jeevan Praman" in the month of Novenmer. So I have been to a Mee Seva center and the device didnt recognise my finger print. MeeSeva guy tried thrice and every time it does the same. what can I do, trying make-easy procedure easy, has become more troubled one.
Gopal Gorai
5 years ago
My life getting hell day by day due to not recognise my fingerprint for Aadhar linking to mobile or kyc in SBI. I harrassed for that. I surprised that there is no other way for biometric. Then why govt. forced to this. I was a big fan of this govt. But now I m no longer supporter of this govt.
alarm tom
5 years ago
nice post
Rajaram S
5 years ago
My father is law is now facing this problem. He is a pensioner, and needs to go through the annual routing of verifying that he is alive, and getting the pension released. This time, he tried the go through the Jeevan praman route. However, his fingerprint was not recognized. He went to the Aadhar center, and re-generated the Aadhar by providing his biometric details. And still the Jeevan praman centre did not recognize his fingerprint. And they do not have an Iris scanner.
Sevarkodiyon K
6 years ago
I am facing this issue of my fingerprint being not recognized by many systems. It failed to recognize my fingerprint linked to my AADHAR card when I try to complete my KYC details for PayTm, I tried with different mobile stores and none of the fingerprint scanners recognized my fingerprints for this purpose. But, with same fingerprints, I linked my Airtel Mobile Number, JIO Mobile Number and Vodafone Mobile Number.
Shweta bhadauria
6 years ago
Today I am jobless because of this biometric mismatch issue though I am genuine candidate. In IBPS interview I faced this issue. After working hard from last two years I finally reached to interview level but because of this biometric I was given just the passing marks in the interview and could not make into the merit list. I am feeling so frustrated now, never knew I will not get the job beacuse of my own finger. Why dont they use iris scan also to authenticate a person along with biometric.
6 years ago
My finger print not taking biomatrics so how can solve this issue please help me if you have any suggestions.
Suffian Khan
Replied to SHAHID KHAN comment 5 years ago
Im also facing this same ,help me
Ramachandran Rajagopal
6 years ago
I agree one hundred percent.Both my wife and I are senior citizens ( 65 and 74 respectively) are facing problems due to finger prints not being captured.Only our Iris scans are available from Aadhaar data base.Unfortunately,the Cellphone companies do not have Iris Scanning machines for Re- verification of our SIM cards . Mine is Reliance Jio and my wife’s is BSNL. The IVR based system where one can call 14546 does not work if the SIM card was taken in one circle and your Aadhaar card is now changed to your new address in another location.
How can the Government be so insensitive to such technical issues which can impact the day to day life of people if the SIM gets de-activated due to no fault of the user but the defective system put in place by the Government?
Rituparna Bhowmik
6 years ago
I am a college student staying in hostel far away from home. When I was supposed to link all my phone numbers to aadhar i found none of my fingers match my data. As a student I have to apply for exams using this number the validation being my finger print. With this error I simply can't sit for my exams. And as I don't stay in the city I linked my aadhar to I can't even change it at my own time. I have to wait for months for vacation then only try it. It's a menace if I think !
Singh lala bhaiya
6 years ago
I have linked adhar no. to various services. Recently, bio-metric attendance system installed in my office. This system is not responding on my any finger. What will be for my mobile phone connection?
shiva Kumar Gowda
6 years ago

Dear Sir/Madam,

I have already submitted all the original documents 1 month back at regional head office bangalore they only told to contact UIDAI technology team.Kindly help me on the same..

I am Sivakumar from hosur (Tamilnadu). I have already enrolled aadhar card for lot of times but still I am not getting aadhar card.
Enrolment ID
20**********2 07.08.2016 13.14.07.

After I got one information my finger print was already linked with my grandma's Aadhar ID but my grandma was not already dead. For that I have applied data correction also the enrolment id is
2******5 14.01.2017 12.54.17.

Still no update. And also I have logged lot of complaints and customer care calls also but no use.

Please find the complaint numbers..

My grandma's Aadhar card number is 8***********4.

Regarding this issue i have visited the UIDAI regional head office Bangalore. They are checked and conformed my finger print is added with my grand mother's Aadhar. After i have submited the letter along with Death certificate of my grandmother. Already 4 months over but no response.

After i have sent the mail to UIDAI regional officers mail ID. I got a call from UIDAI regional head office for once again they are verified the documents and also they are taken one more conformation letter from my side. They informed we will send the letter to delhi regional head office it will take 10 days to delete your grand mother's Aadhar card. But already more than 15 days gone but i did't get any further notification.

Without Aadhar card i con't able to change my job and unable to open new bank account. Every day i was facing lot of problems. Last 3 years i was tried but still i din't get any response from UIDAI side.Please help on the same. Other wise further what can i do tell me.

please provide concern team mail ID or Contact number for further process..

Ravi Gurung
6 years ago
I found my Aadhar is invalid and advised to visit Aadhaar Centre and get biomatric update - since Jan 2017 I went to update 5 times and every time it has been rejected and ask for retry - I complained several time and asked the reason of rejection so i can check and do the needful again for biomatric updation with all necessary docs if required - but no satisfactory reply received from UIDAI - Now thanks to Supreme Court for extending it upto 31st March - But i am still in problem and confusion what to do???
Siddharth Vyawahare
Replied to Ravi Gurung comment 6 years ago
My mother, a senior citizen is facing the same exact issue. Any solution here?
Hardeep Talreja
6 years ago
My biometric records were readily available last month while linking my aadhar with mobile number. But yesterday when I went to a private enrollment centre to update my new phone number I was told that my biometric records were unavailable. A few days ago I had sharply criticized about the shoddy implementation by the UIDAI of the whole aadhar process and the insensitivity of the present government towards the whole process on the Facebook page of UIDAI. Well my biometric records have disappeared after this episode, could this be a technological error or Vendetta politics?
Rashmi Chowdhary
6 years ago
My mother is facing problem, she went for adhar card authentication for more than 3 times but due to her age (probably) her fingerprint were not matched. Her mobile phone is not attached to her adhar card now and no body is willing to give any directions. It's sad state and government should immediately take some action.
Dr.Annapurna Ramesh
6 years ago
I always have problems with biomatrix enabled e system such as punching at office as my fingers are smooth. I went to mobile office tried to link my aadhar number to mobile number using my finger tips biomatrix .They tried with three different equipments several times repeatedly for 40 minutes all ten fingers .Unfortunately it did not match. Without working out actual challenges and consequences government is giving deadlines for various linking .If the system fails citizens are looked after like criminals where as true criminals are damaging the citizens and let free due to poor judiciary system.
I called up toll free number 1947 imagine the person answering grievances does not even know about this technical problem and asking me to go to office and waste days in aadhar office.
This is the plight of highly educated and imagine about illiterates , children, semiliterate ,poor and villagers plight. I request the aadhar authorities , government and judiciary not to give dead lines and link to public beneficiary schemes the biomatrix causing inconvenience to honest citizens till you solve all technical problems.
Rahul JFL
Replied to Dr.Annapurna Ramesh comment 6 years ago
This Aadhaar has my life hell...My fingerprints are very faint, am trying since past 1.5 years. The fool operators have option to bypass fingerprints as an exception and move to Iris scan. They are not doing so however mainly because lack of knowledge/instructions from Udaai or fear of penalty though there are clear instructions about this in a pdf released by udaai about exceptions. I have recently changed my company and my joining formalities are not complete without aadhaar, so my salary is also held. Whatever happens, I regret voting this bullish government and surely will vote any third class party this time.
Vilas Khapre
Replied to Dr.Annapurna Ramesh comment 6 years ago
yes I fully supported & agreed with your statement.
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