The world’s biggest facial recognition system is slated to arrive in India come in November 2019. Plans of the proposed network come after the National Crime Records Bureau allowed submission of bids until October 11, 2019. Both local and international companies submitted bids for the National Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS).
India launched a pilot program that tested the technology for 15 months in 2018. Under the project, more than 10,000 missing children were identified by the system. The huge undertaking is expected to launch across India’s 29 states and seven union territories report CNN.
Following the success of the program, the country intends to launch the largest facial recognition system in the world.
Based on the report by CNN, companies such as Accenture, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, and IBM expressed interest in the unnamed project. However, the news site states that upon reaching for comment, all three companies declined to give a statement.
In total, approximately 80 companies attended the pre-bid meeting which took place in July. The meeting was held in the office of the National Crime Records Bureau in Delhi. The meeting discussed the software’s potential to address current security lapses in the country as well as elevate police platforms.
Most Indian companies are excluded from the narrative given their lack of global facial recognition projects. As a result, Internet Freedom Foundation NGO representative Apar Gupta fears international governance poses security issues on a national level. A risk the country may encounter is espionage, reports CNN.
Address Child Traffic, Crimes
The adoption of the facial recognition system was initially done by law enforcement agencies in 2018. New Delhi spearheaded the undertaking, with Andhra Pradesh and Punjab following in its wake.
News sites report that India’s government used facial recognition technology to find thousands of missing children in the country. Apart from this, the program is also used to help identify criminals as well as identify crime patterns. The software also aids in crime prevention, notes the National Crime Records Bureau.
Concerns on Potential Abuse and Misuse
While the government initiative is considered revolutionary, cybercrime experts expressed alarm over potential abuse of the system. According to Economic Times India, privacy breaches and data leaks may be the primary problems from this type of technology. Pavan Duggal, a cyber law expert, remarked the current Information Technology Act in place does not have regulations for such innovation.
Following this, Economic Times mentioned that industry giants and the general technology sector must provide more regulations in the field.