Authorities in India have started discussions with various private companies about the potential of adopting facial recognition technology all across the 28 states. The idea behind this huge project from the government is to simplify the identification of criminals, missing children and even the deceased by the technology.
According to authorities, the implementation of this technology is going to shore up the issue that India is facing in terms of lack of staff in its police departments across its densely populated cities.
To bring it as an example, there are no more than 138 police officers per 100,000 citizens in India. If we try to compare it to the whole population, that’s not even 2 million staff. Consider the crime rate and we get an issue where there are simply not enough police officers in the country to respond to every report.
The facial recognition technology would allow the police force to narrow down and speed up their investigation process and concentrate the rate of success.
However, based on the reports of several tests that were conducted in the country, even the most sophisticated software used in counties like the United States and Great Brittain has a 2% chance of making the correct guess.
Regardless of the success rate, the Indian government is determined to continue its attempts at implementing the technology.
Similar developments in different countries
The most interesting case about this is that India is not the only country trying to implement such technology as fast as possible. There are other countries such as the United States, UK, China and Australia that are having heated debates on whether or not the facial recognition technology is moral or not.
The most interesting case of all is Australia as the country is trying to target a specific industry with this technology rather than ensure social security.
There have been talks in the Australian parliament that facial recognition technology should be applied to industries such as adult content and online gambling websites.
The argument behind the regulation is that these websites are constantly being accessed by underage Australians, thus defeating the purpose of having the 18+ law on them. According to the deputies that drafted this bill, the facial recognition technology would allow adult content and casino websites to check the facial structure of the person trying to gain access to the platform.
The software will be developed to identify the facial features of people under 18 as well as over 18. However, private companies are fearing that these technologies are not reliable in these cases simply because an underaged person can easily fool it. And giving access to underage users under such laws would warrant millions in fines and ultimately make these companies go broke.
Considering the data from Indian authorities that the success rate was only 2%, it’s likely that the software proposed by Australia is going to have similar issues.
What other issues does the software face in India?
Another issue that facial recognition could potentially face in India is the complex diversity of Indian nationals. The skin tone, facial structure and multiple ethnic minorities in the country could distort the accuracy of the software.
Furthermore, it’s not like India is knowns for the density of its CCTV cameras, which creates an issue of just having not enough footage to properly measure the success rate of the technology.
Even more, issues are created by existing CCTV cameras which are quickly losing their quality, thus displaying images that are simply impossible to read for the software.
Overall, if India wants to fully implement this new technology and transition to its rapid development, there are quite a lot of software issues they have to solve before they do so. But right now, the 100% implementation is still in debate, meaning that excessive speculation is just out of the question.