Automated facial recognition: what NCRB proposes, what are the concerns

  1. The National Crime Records Bureau(NCRB) has released a Request for Proposal for an Automated Facial Recognition System(AFRS) to be used by police officers across the country.
  2. The AFRS would be used to identify criminals, missing people, and unidentified dead bodies as well as for crime prevention.
  3. AFRS works by maintaining a large database with photos and videos of peoples faces. Then,a new image of an unidentified person is often taken from CCTV footage is compared to the existing database to find a match and identify the person.
  4. The artificial intelligence technology used for pattern-finding and matching is called neural networks.Neural networks are a set of algorithms modeled loosely after the human brain that are designed to recognize patterns.
  5. NCRB has also proposed integrating this facial recognition system with multiple existing databases.The most prominent is the NCRB-managed Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems(CCTNS).
  6. CCTNS is a project initiated in June 2009 which was aimed at creating a comprehensive and integrated system for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of policing at the Police Station level.
  7. The project targets to interconnect about 15000 Police Stations and additional 5000 offices of supervisory police officers across the country and digitize data related to FIR registration, investigation and charge sheets in all Police Stations.
  8. The new facial recognition system will also be integrated with (a) Integrated Criminal Justice System (ICJS) (b)state-specific systems (c)Immigration,Visa and Foreigners Registration & Tracking(IVFRT) and (d)Koya Paya portal.
  9. Khoya Paya portal is a citizen based website to exchange information on missing and found children.It has been developed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Department of Electronics and Information Technology(DeitY).
  10. The NCRB is an Indian government agency responsible for collecting and analysing crime data as defined by the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Special and Local Laws (SLL).NCRB is headquartered in New Delhi and is part of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA),Government of India.