India building world’s biggest face recognition system

Published October 20, 2019
India is trying to build the world’s biggest facial recognition system to immediately det­ect a suspect, says an official announcement released to the international media. —  Reuters via News18
India is trying to build the world’s biggest facial recognition system to immediately det­ect a suspect, says an official announcement released to the international media. — Reuters via News18

WASHINGTON: India is trying to build the world’s biggest facial recognition system to immediately det­ect a suspect, says an official announcement released to the international media.

The proposed database the Automated Facial Recognition System, aims to “modernise … information gathering, criminal identification, verification and its dissemination” across the country.

India has asked IT companies across the world to send their proposals to the National Crime Record Bureau in New Delhi.

India hopes that the project would enable law enforcement agencies in its 29 states and seven union territories to access a single, centralised database.

A detailed 172-page document published by the bureau says that the system would match images from India’s growing network of CCTV cameras against a database of mug-shots of criminals, passport photos and images collected by various government agencies.

The document says that the new facial recognition platform “can play a very vital role in improving outcomes” when it comes to identifying criminals, missing persons and bodies. It will also help police forces “detect crime patterns” and aid in crime prevention, it adds.

According to a survey conducted in 2018, the crime rate in India is high, particularly in large urban centres.

As of 2016, Delhi had the highest cognizable crime rate of 974.9 (per 100,000 persons) and Uttar Pradesh had the highest incidence of crime based on percentage of share.

In 2016, there were 709.1 offences per 100,000 people in 19 big cities, compared to the national average of 379.3.

Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2019

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