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NITI Aayog okays study on facial recognition tech in India

According to sources, the decision was taken on 18 October during a meeting chaired by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar.

Written by Harikishan Sharma | New Delhi |
October 28, 2021 3:13:36 am
Sources said NITI Aayog member Dr VK Saraswat, who looks after science and technology, highlighted the “security angle” and flagged the issue of “misuse / malpractices” related to facial recognition technology. (Representative Image)

NITI Aayog has approved a proposal to conduct a study on the use of facial recognition technology in India. The study, to be conducted by an independent think-tank, will have a budget of Rs 23.17 lakh.

According to sources, the decision was taken on 18 October during a meeting chaired by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar.

The minutes of the meeting read: “After deliberations, the research study, ‘Handbook for responsible facial recognition technologies in India: A case study for Digi Yatra’ by Centre for Applied Law and Technology Research (ALTR), Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, New Delhi was approved at a budget of Rs 23.17 in a timeline of 4 months…”
During the meeting, Kumar suggested the inclusion of information on what institutional arrangements need to be made to use the technology, it is learnt.

Sources said NITI Aayog member Dr VK Saraswat, who looks after science and technology, highlighted the “security angle” and flagged the issue of “misuse / malpractices” related to facial recognition technology.

According to a source, a representative from Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy said a “big concern” related to FRT in India would be the level of accuracy “since most of the data sets that are being used by the algorithm are Caucasian males and there are higher chances of inaccurate results even with white women”.

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