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National repository of photographs of criminals mooted

The Central government wants to create a “repository of photographs of criminals in the country,” and wants to put a system in place to track “missing children and unidentified dead bodies,” through facial recognition.

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has invited bids for Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS) that would even “capture face images from CCTV feed and generate alerts if a blacklist match is found”. To begin with, a repository of 1.5 crore ‘criminals’ is being planned. The data protection law is yet to be passed by Parliament but the bid document referred to this aspect.

A senior Home Ministry official said the primary objective was to track missing children and identify unclaimed bodies through the photo records. “It will not violate privacy laws,” said the official.

“The repository shall act as a foundation for a national level searchable platform of facial images and the data needs to be protected against following threats — unauthorised access to database or application, accidental modifications or deletions, confidentiality, integrity and availability breaches of data during data transport and physical storage, encryption/decryption engine,” the document uploaded by the NCRB on its website said. The bids are to be submitted by September.

“The AFRS must allow the implementation of an access control policy based on the use of logins, passwords and/or fingerprint login, multi-layered security should be in place in order to access various features at the central server,” the document said.

The system would also enable handheld mobile with “applications to capture a face on the field and get the matching result from the backend server”.

The document said, “Facial recognition system shall be enabled at cameras identified by the authority. These cameras identified shall be installed at critical locations finalised by the authority.”

The system should be able to “add photographs obtained from newspapers, raids, sent by people, sketches etc. to the criminal’s repository tagged for sex, age, scars, tattoos, etc. for future searches”.

“The system should have option to upload bulk subject images and generate alerts if any of the subject images matches with the registered faces in the database,” it said.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2020 4:47:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/national-repository-of-photographs-of-criminals-mooted/article28323233.ece

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