Facial Recognition coming now debate needed

A government-sponsored facial recognition surveillance system, billed as India’s largest such effort to date, is proposing to detect faces when covered with masks, or even modified by plastic surgery. We need to have discussion and debate on this at the earliest.

According to a fresh tender issued last week by the National Crime Records Bureau, a body under the Home Ministry, the surveillance tool will process more than a crore facial images, and will also integrate with existing centralised crime databases like CCTNS.

Another key issue with laws involving intrusions into citizen’s private space has been the almost inevitable lapses in following the letter of the law. This has been seen in the way phone tapping laws have been (mis)used, or even access to financial data. Multiple government agencies claiming ‘special’ powers in such matters do not help matters at all. In the government system, not being mentioned is certainly not seen as being excluded by these agencies.

The technology is nowhere close to being infallible, with incorrect facial recognition matches even leading to the arrest of innocent people in the US.

It is also problematic that the narrative on such intrusions can be easily managed by governments. Simply by highlighting every instance where these have helped solve a crime, for instance. By limiting information only to such cases, it can easily convince people that the system is too important not to have. more  

View all 19 comments Below 19 comments
Facial recognition like voice recognition has its own shortcomings ..Even finger printing matching in old and sick people are the trouble makers even for genuine citozens.The lines get thinned out and and the thermal images cannot identify.once I spend one whole week to convince the officers to.corroborate with additional data and allow identigication. Flaws in machine should have back.up.of other means of corroborating to identify the true citizens and not by cause harassment more  
Its a dangerous tool. Easy to misuse for various purposes. Need careful study and a knowledge based debate to its pros and cons! more  
Discussion should be around how to prevent misuse. If technology is used correctly, this will certainly help in curbing crime more  
This can be linked to Aadhar card and those who are anti nationals or overstaying in India even after their expiry can be detected and sent back more  
Unfortunately NCRB has not been utilised to its full potential. more  
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