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Delhi Police deploys facial recognition systems, CCTV cameras ahead of Republic Day: Report

Research has shown that using facial recognition for policing is likely to disproportionately affect some more than others.

Ahead of Republic Day celebrations in the national capital on January 26, Delhi Police has installed facial recognition systems (FRS) as well as over 300 CCTV cameras in and around Rajpath, a boulevard where the Republic Day parade takes place, news agency ANI reported.

The facial recognition system which has been deployed will have a database of 50,000 ‘suspected criminals’, according to the report which quoted New Delhi Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Deepak Yadav. MediaNama could not independently verify these claims and have written to the Delhi Police for more information in this regard.

The deployment of facial recognition systems around the country has been going on unabated, despite the lack of legislation regulating its usage.

Potential of religion-based discrimination in Delhi Police’s use of facial recognition

In his study to understand the potential discrimination that can result from the police using facial recognition technology, Jai Vipra, Senior Resident Fellow at the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, mapped out police station jurisdictions and found that in Delhi, Muslims are more likely to be targeted by the police if FRT is used.

“Given the fact that Muslims are represented more than the city average in the over-policed areas, and recognising historical systemic biases in policing Muslim communities in India in general and in Delhi in particular, we can reasonably state that any technological intervention that intensifies policing in Delhi will also aggravate this bias. The use of FRT in policing in Delhi will almost inevitably disproportionately affect Muslims, particularly those living in over-policed areas like Old Delhi or Nizamuddin.” — Empirical Study

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Among other subjects, I cover the increasing usage of emerging technologies, especially for surveillance in India

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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