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9 Nov 2019

Benjamin Parkin, Financial Times

India defends plans for facial recognition system

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Indian authorities have defended their plans to build a sweeping facial recognition system after criticism that they are creating a mass-surveillance tool with minimal oversight. The National Crime Records Bureau said the proposed facial recognition system... has adequate approval, does not violate the principle of consent and will be maintained under strict safeguards. Privacy advocates have... [the system] lacks a legal and policy framework and would be open to abuse... In June, the NCRB invited bids from companies to help build a facial recognition system that would allow the police to match people of interest against a database of facial images... [The] deadline for bids... has now been extended until January... The Supreme Court ruled in 2017 that Indians have a fundamental right to privacy. A proposed personal data protection bill, designed to instil safeguards on that data, was released in draft form last year but is yet to make its way through parliament.

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