At least 32 Facial Recognition Technology systems, estimated at Rs 1,063 crore, are in various stages of deployment by union ministries, central agencies and several state governments, including Telangana and Gujarat, according to an ongoing study by digital rights advocacy group, Internet Freedom Foundation.
Ministries, several states deploying facial recognition tech systems: StudyAt least 32 Facial Recognition Technology (FRT) systems, estimated at Rs 1,063 crore, are in various stages of deployment by union ministries, central agencies and several state governments, including Telangana and Gujarat, according to an ongoing study by digital rights advocacy group, Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF). IFF sourced the information by filing 31 RTIs with several government departments.
The organisation launched a website — panoptic.in — on Friday which graphically details this ongoing development, which digital rights experts say can pose a threat to privacy and freedom of speech. The IFF study is named Project Panoptic. FRT uses algorithms to extract data points from a face to create its digital signature. This signature is compared with an existing database to find possible matches. It is not 100% accurate and there can be “misidentification (false positive) and failure to identify (false negative)”, the website says.
“These systems need a huge amount of sensitive personal data and biometric information, and their existence is at odds with a user’s privacy. It’s also important to note that these systems don’t exist because of their success but because they are seen as magical solutions to problems,” said Vidushi Marda, a lawyer and researcher who works on socio-legal implications of emerging technologies.
India’s telecom sector, in the efforts of enabling policies including more quantum of the spectrum, is set to establish new benchmarks in the next-generation network deployments and service delivery.
The website lists at least six such projects undertaken by the Centre, out of which one is already functional. According to the website, one of the most expensive FRT projects has been envisioned by The National Crime Records Bureau at Rs 308 crore. It aims to maintain a large database of photos and videos of people’s faces “to swiftly identify criminals by gathering existing data from various other databases”.https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com