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Article

26 Aug 2021

Author:
Madhumita Murgia, Financial Times

India: NtechLab supplies facial recognition to track millions of commuters, despite lack of legislation & safeguards

"India deploys facial recognition surveilling millions of commuters", 26 August 2021.

Indian Railways... has deployed a network of almost 500 facial recognition cameras to track millions of daily commuters...

The system, developed by Russian start-up NtechLab, has been live for the past month...

The government has also issued an open tender for an integrated nationwide central system...

Andrey Telenkov, NtechLab’s chief executive, said its system could simultaneously recognise up to 50 people in a single frame, including those wearing medical masks... He added that the technology could also identify criminals, track people of interest through live footage, and search for missing persons.

NTech has been linked to several state-backed facial recognition projects in Russia, and has received investment from state defence industry conglomerate Rostec...

Civil society activists have raised alarms about the widespread curtailment of civil liberties in India through the use of biometric systems, including tracking down protesters...

[Telenkov] added that the company had active projects in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Russia. “We have shown a very high accuracy on all skin types,” he said...