The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen(AIMIM) has written to the Telangana Election Commission demanding the withdrawal of Facial Recognition Technology in the municipal polls to be held on Wednesday, and suggested strengthening of existing procedures to identify electoral fraud more efficiently.
Telangana is all set to use Facial Recognition Technology for verification and authentication of voters during the municipal elections on a pilot basis.
“The database is being created without the informed consent of participants. There can be no assumption of consent inside a polling station and collection of such data without consent would be a violation of a citizen’s right to privacy,” AIMIM’s MLC Syed Amin-ul-Hasan Jafri argued in the letter.
Jafri further pointed out that the technology is being deployed without any statutory basis.
He also said the deployment of such a technology does not serve any legitimated state aim. “If the aim is the detection of electoral fraud, then the State Election Commission must explain why existing procedures for fraud-detection are inadequate or how this technology will augment its efforts,” he said.
“Most importantly, in the absence of any statutory procedure to seek consent from individuals, this procedure is fraught with constitutional irregularity. No statutory safeguards have been provided for how this data will be used or protected from misuse, thereby, putting thousands of Indian citizens at risk of identity theft and violation of their privacy,” Jafri, a former journalist, added in the letter.
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