Facial Recognition Technology in India

Most of the population of India, directly or indirectly uses the facial recognition technology (FRT) but not enough people know what’s really going on. FRT is being increasingly used across 8 different Indian cities and is mainly used by the Police and Central Government to easily identify citizens. The main issue regarding the use of FRT in India is the fact that it is being implemented without the consent of the citizens, in the absence of a legislative regulatory framework to protect the data and rights of the citizens.
This thread is to encourage discussions and conversations regarding the use of FRT by the Indian Government.

Firstly, the lack of consent of the citizens can be extremely dangerous, especially because there is no information regarding the use of the information and images. Secondly, India is currently implementing FRT without having a legal framework due to which, it is impossible to hold them accountable in case of breach of privacy. This gives the Government a leverage to use the data of citizens to implement mass survelliance which will eventually affect the fundamental rights of the citizens.

In January, 2021, with intent to improve the security of women, the UP Government decided to install CCTV cameras aross the city of Lucknow to capture a photo of a women in distress based on her facial recognitions. The women would be required to register themselves at their nearest police stations whenever they would be stepping out of their homes. However, this kind of regulation is extremely arbitary, inaccurate and an absolute violation of fundamental rights.

Here are few data resources related to FRT:

  1. https://internetfreedom.in/facial-recognition-in-india-part-i/ (list of police departments of various states that are already in possession of FRT)
  2. https://www.biometricupdate.com/201907/india-issues-rfp-for-national-biometric-facial-recognition-system (India issues RFP for national biometric facial recognition system)
  3. https://internetfreedom.in/problems-with-facial-recognition-systems-operating-in-a-legal-vacuum/ (Problems of FRT in India)