HYDERABAD: Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) will launch India’s first tracker for facial recognition systems on November 27. The Foundation on Monday announced it is all set to launch Project Panoptic, India’s first facial recognition technology (FRT) tracker. “It maps the development and deployment of facial recognition technology projects across India. We will go live on November 27,” it announced. Internet Freedom Foundation demanded the government pass data protection law as well as specific laws about facial recognition technology.
National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has started making plans to set up an Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS) with an estimated budget of Rs 308 crore and create a national database of photographs. The project is aimed at swiftly identifying criminals by gathering existing data from the passport database, Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), Interoperable Criminal Justice System, KhoyaPaya Portal, Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), and any other image database available with police or other departments. Data privacy activists said the use of this technology without having legal safeguards would lead to discrimination and exclusion. “In the absence of a strong data protection law, AFRS could lead to mass surveillance. A strong data protection act should be brought in to hold AFRS accountable in terms of data collection, storage, and usage of data, including the sharing of data across government agencies. This should also include the sharing of data with third parties,” Internet Freedom Foundation said. IFF demanded the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) and NCRB rollback request for proposal (RFP) and halt the ongoing tender process. It asked the government to place a moratorium of three years on the use of technology.