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6 Nov 2019

E&T Editorial Staff, E&T Magazine

India: Government's plans to implement national facial recognition system criticised by human rights experts

"India’s plans for facial recognition condemned by human rights experts", 7 November 2019

India’s plans to implement a controversial nationwide facial recognition system has been criticised by human rights and technology experts.

The National Automated Facial Recognition System (NAFRS) is expected to be the world’s largest deployment of a facial recognition system. NAFRS received accepted bids by companies over the past months.

With its intended system, the government hopes to enhance security across the nation and provide greater opportunity for capturing criminals, identify lost individuals, dead bodies and more.

Facial recognition technology has already been implemented in select Indian airports over the summer, with the police already reaping the benefits, according to a statement by the Delhi police. It said it had identified nearly 3,000 missing children in just days during a trial after the system was tested on 45,000 children in the city.

Doubts remain over the extent to which the tech could really improve crime and safety rates...

...Other commentators have warned that at the moment there is no real regulation in place to keep tabs on the data to help in avoiding the unlawful use of facial information. 

Facial-recognition surveillance has faced strong opposition already this year in places such as San Francisco, where the authorities banned its use by the city’s staff.

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