The NCRB, which manages crime data for police, would like to use automated facial recognition to identify criminals, missing people and unidentified dead bodies, as well as for “Crime Prevention”.
National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) released a Request for Proposal for an Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS) to be used by police officers across the country.
This request is a component of Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), a national database of crimes and criminals.
As fingerprints helps in investigation for the Police Officers, the AFRS will add another information layer to investigation by allowing matching photograph of suspect or missing person with the photo database of CCTNS. Presently, police undertake manual search for matching photographs on CCTNS data base.
Its Request for Proposal calls for gathering CCTV footage, as well as photos from newspapers, raids, and sketches.
The project is aimed at being compatible with other biometrics such as iris and fingerprints. It will be a mobile and web application hosted in NCRB’s Data Centre in Delhi, but used by all police stations in the country.
“Automated Facial Recognition System can play a very vital role in improving outcomes in the area of Criminal identification and verification by facilitating easy recording, analysis, retrieval and sharing of Information between different organizations.
There are 7.71 lakh cases of missing persons in the CCTNS database that includes 98,000 children.
The CCTNS database accused persons, prisoners, missing persons and unidentified found persons including children, and unidentified dead persons
How it works?
A large national database with photos and videos of peoples’ faces were maintained for the purpose.
Using Neural Networks technology, a new unidentified face from the CCTV footages, is compared from the database and find the match of the person.
Concerns over AFRS:
Cyber Experts caution against privacy and associated concerns.
They fear that the system can become a tool of government to keep a vigil on the citizenry.
Further, the technology is not foolproof and can result in serious consequences.
Moreover, the absence of a Data Protection Law in India may give investigative authorities unhindered access and power.
Reply to the concerns raised:
In a reply for the concerns, an official said, AFRS would not violate privacy of citizens and is only being developed to help the law enforcement agencies to identify criminals, missing children and unidentified bodies in a scientific and speedy manner.
With this new technology, criminals and terrorists will no longer be able to hide behind fake identities.