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Is India prepared to tackle misuse of face recognition technology? (IANS Special)

IANS  |  New Delhi 

While the usage of technology is growing across the world, the absence of any and data in makes the country ill-prepared to deal with the misuse of the technology, experts said on Friday.

"There is no legal mechanism to stop misuse of technology in India," Pavan Duggal, one of the nation's top cyber experts, told IANS, adding that the Act does not specially deal with misuse of this technology.

There is also not any blanket ban on the use of this technology, perhaps because of the benefits that could accrue from the proper usage of the technology that dramatically cuts down the amount of time needed for identifying people or objects in photos and video.

In April last year, for example, could identify almost 3,000 missing children in just four days during a trial of a system.

While the benefits of the technology for enforcement agencies in fighting crime and identifying missing people and also for the industry for business purposes cannot be denied, it is the misuse of the technology that can put the citizens of the country in trouble.

"The first casualty of the absence of regulatory framework for is people's right to privacy," Duggal said.

"In India, there is not even any framework to regulate the storage of facial recognition data. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the situation and they are making such data available on the Dark Net," he added.

Some of the major including and also agree that there is a need for governments to regulate this technology.

In a blog post in December 2018, pointed out that certain uses of this technology can increase the risk of biased decisions and outcomes, intrusions into people's and also encroach on democratic freedoms if the technology is used for mass surveillance.

While defending its own facial recognition technology Rekognition, saying there has been not a single report of misuse of the technology by law enforcement, (AWS) on Friday said it also supports the creation of a legislative framework covering facial recognition through video and photographic monitoring on public or commercial premises.

In India, Duggal said, anybody can misuse this technology without fears of facing any adverse legal consequences.

"Here law has not been able to protect the citizen," he said, adding that self-regulation of facial recognition will not be effective.

"The quicker we are able to provide effective legal mechanism to regulate facial recognition technology, better it is for the country and its citizens," Duggal added.

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, February 08 2019. 20:40 IST
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