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Police use ‘facial recognition’ app to ensure home quarantine

According to officials, the mobile application “Jamnagar Police Alert Citizen” is being used by the police to keep track of people who have been put under home quarantine.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published: May 30, 2020 12:12:56 am
coronavirus, coronavirus infection, covid 19, coronavirus cases in gujarat, facial regonition in jamnagar, jamnagar home quarantine people, jamnagar home quarantine people watch, indian express news The application has been developed by Hemal Dodhia, founder of CTO Mahavir Consultants, whose services have been hired on a third-party basis by the police. (Representational Photo)

To ensure strict compliance of home quarantine, Jamnagar Police have come up with a “facial recognition” system by way of a mobile application to monitor as many as 4,000 persons in the district.

According to officials, the mobile application “Jamnagar Police Alert Citizen” is being used by the police to keep track of people who have been put under home quarantine. Real time data of these persons’ GPS location and pictures are compiled and displayed at a centralized dashboard in the control room of the district police.

On the installation of the application, people under home quarantine are asked to upload a selfie of theirs, as frequently as twice or thrice in a day, in order to confirm their presence at their homes. Their photograph is then tallied with their GPS locations and the data is sent to the police control room. Any violation recorded by the GPS tracker or non-compliance with upload selfies sends an alert to the police, officials said

.Safin Hasan, Assistant Superintendent of Police in Jamnagar, said,”We have come up with this app where random pop-ups appear on the user’s phone twice or thrice during daytime and they have to press ‘OK’ to allow the phone to click their photos. We then compare the selfie with the photo of the user in the facial recognition system and tally it with their GPS location to confirm their home quarantine. We give ten minutes after the pop-up appears for the picture to be clicked. If the person fails to upload a picture, then a call is made to confirm if he is in the bathroom or preoccupied with other work. Collective data is generated for an area in intervals of six and 12 hours.” If a person tries to switch off their phone, internet or location data, an alert is sent to the police then, too, he added.

Hasan said that the police had started using it since relaxations in lockdown were announced to allow inter-district travel in Gujarat.

“At the border checkposts in Jamnagar, our medical and Quick Response Teams (QRTs) ensure that people who are entering our district install this app. We note down their personal details, including any medical history, blood groups, travel details, for our centralized system. After the person is allowed inside, the app becomes active within three hours and the person’s 14-day quarantine begins. For each person, we have marked a 100 metre radius of his exact location and if they travel beyond that, an alert is sent and the green flag on our dashboard turns red. We then call that person to inquire where they are and if any satisfactory answer is not given, then the local police is informed in order to book a case of quarantine violation,” said Hasan.

The police have already booked a 53-year-old man through the app — Kantibhai alias Kanabhai, a resident of Narayan Nagar in Jamnagar — for allegedly violating the home quarantine guidelines.

The application has been developed by Hemal Dodhia, founder of CTO Mahavir Consultants, whose services have been hired on a third-party basis by the police.

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