To combat rampant sex crimes, the government of Lucknow, the capital of India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, intends to install face recognition systems in 200 places where sexual harassment and assault are most likely to occur.
Digital experts are concerned that this government project will violate privacy.
The Lucknow police confirmed that they will compile a list of the 200 most commonly reported locations for sexual harassment and install face recognition devices at those locations, Al Jazeera reported Jan. 22.
By “detecting women’s facial expressions,” the police will use facial recognition devices to stop inappropriate physical touching in real time.
According to the report, the police will install five artificial intelligence cameras in each stronghold.
In the event that a woman is sexually harassed or sexually assaulted and her face changes, the camera will send a notification to the nearest police station.
However, the police did not further specify what kind of expressions will trigger the alert.
According to reports, more and more airports, stations and cafes in India are now using facial recognition devices.
As the devices become widespread, the Indian police will establish a nationwide intelligence gathering and crime identification system for police use.
Technology analysts and privacy experts believe that the benefits of this technology are unclear, but could undermine people’s privacy and lead to greater “surveillance”.
In addition, officials have revealed very little information about how the technology works, how the data is stored and who can access it.
According to the report, India is one of the most dangerous places in the world for women.
According to statistics, hardness averages one rape case every 15 minutes. Uttar Pradesh is considered the least safe state, with the highest number of assaults on women in the country in 2019.
Roop Rekha Verma, a women’s rights activist in Lucknow, said Indian police often refuse to file cases for (sexual assault) complaints and often fail to act on such allegations.
“Now they want us to believe that they will act on our expressions.” Vimal taunted.
Reports indicate that there is now a growing backlash against face recognition in the United States and Europe.
Nevertheless, Indian officials insist that the introduction of the technology could stop crime and also help find missing children.
Data experts point out that in the absence of relevant legal regulation, the risk of using facial recognition systems can threaten privacy.