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Ministries and various states that implement facial recognition technology systems: Study | India News


NEW DELHI: At least 32 facial recognition technology (FRT) systems, estimated at Rs 1,063 crore, are in various stages of implementation by union ministries, central agencies and various state governments, including Telangana and Gujarat, according to an ongoing study of digital rights advocacy group, Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF). IFF obtained the information by submitting 31 RTIs to various government departments.
The organization launched a website, panoptic.in, on Friday graphically detailing this ongoing development, which digital rights experts say may pose a threat to privacy and freedom of expression. The IFF study is called the Panopticon Project. FRT uses algorithms to extract data points from a face to create its digital signature. This signature is compared to an existing database to find possible matches. It is not 100% accurate and there may be “misidentification (false positive) and missing identification (false negative),” the website says.
“These systems require a large amount of sensitive personal data and biometric information, and their existence is at odds with user privacy. It is also important to note that these systems do not exist because of their success, but because they are seen as magic solutions to problems, ”said Vidushi Marda, a lawyer and researcher who works on the socio-legal implications of emerging technologies.
The website lists at least six of those projects undertaken by the Center, of which one is already operational. According to the website, one of the most expensive FRT projects has been planned by the National Office of Criminal Records at Rs 308 crore. Its goal is to maintain a large database of photos and videos of people’s faces “to quickly identify criminals by gathering existing data from various other databases.”

Times of India