The Indian authorities has performed down fears of mass surveillance in response to issues that its proposed facial recognition system lacks ample oversight.

Replying to a legal notice filed by the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), a Delhi-based non-profit that works on digital liberties, the nation’s Nationwide Crime Document Bureau (NCRB) defended the transfer, stating it doesn’t intrude with privateness of residents because it “solely automates the prevailing police process of evaluating suspects’ images with these listed in LEA’s [Law Enforcement Agency] databases.”

It additionally dismissed issues of misidentification and discriminatory profiling, and mentioned the undertaking will solely be used to determine lacking folks and unidentified useless our bodies.

The necessity for facial recognition

The transfer comes after NCRB opened bids from private companies in June to assist develop a facial recognition system — dubbed Nationwide Automated Facial Recognition System (NAFRS) — that might enable legislation enforcement to match folks of curiosity in opposition to an current database of facial photos.

“This is able to significantly facilitate the investigation of crime and detection of criminals and supply data for simpler and quicker evaluation,” the tender doc mentioned.

NAFRS may also “add images obtained from newspapers, raids, despatched by folks, sketches and many others. to the prison‘s repository tagged for intercourse, age, scars, tattoos, and many others. for future searches.” It would have choices to add “bulk topic photos” and “CCTV feeds” to “generate alerts if a blacklist match is discovered.”

Lack of a authorized framework

The system, as soon as in place, is predicted to be accessible to all police companies throughout the nation. As well as, it’s prone to be one among the many largest facial recognition equipment with a capability of processing over 15 million facial photos.

The bids for the undertaking have been due on November 7, however the deadline has now been extended till January 3, 2020.

Credit score: NCRB