A Facial Recognition System For India?

facial recognition

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) under the Government of India has released a tender asking for bidders to help create Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS). The objective is to leverage the power of facial recognition technology to make the security forces more efficient. 

The technology system which has been proposed will make an extensive database of photos belonging to Indian citizens using which machine learning models will be trained. The criminals will be identified using CCTV footage from the database, verified, and information will be distributed to all law enforcement agencies in real-time across the country. 

The Mechanism Of AFRS

As part of the Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS), images from various sources like CCTV, phone cameras, sketches, social media and others could be instantly matched with the photo database.

According to the circular, this would help identify criminals, missing children, unidentified deceased bodies and other aliens persons on the borders. The end product will be made available on the web platforms and mobile devices be in Android, iOS or Windows.  

NCRB is also working for the integration of fingerprint data under the NAFIS program to be integrated with Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS). Here, facial data that includes all metrics of the face, combined with fingerprint, will help the law enforcement agencies in their investigations.

The proposal for mobile data terminals to each police station has been made under CCTNS Phase-II. The facial image database will also be integrated with various other systems & databases like ICJS, IVFRT, ICJS, Immigration Visa Foreigner Registration Tracking (IVFRT) and with all the police systems in different states. 

Conditions Specified By NCRB For Private Vendors For Automated Facial Recognition System

There will be a bid process to choose the right vendor for the technology, according to the published circular. As part of the conditions, the system will have to offer logical algorithms and user-friendly, simple graphical user interface. At the same time, it will depend on the state-of-the-art machine learning capabilities to achieve its objective of generating accurate alerts by analysing the massive database. 

NCRB also specified that the system should be able to work despite changes in facial expression, lighting, age, hairstyle, facial hair, scars and tattoos that may occur in facial data over time. Not just that, the technology should also have the capability to identify a facial image by automatically extracting it from solid backgrounds and other landmarks.

The system will be designed where algorithms, modes and search depths work for varying environments like fast-moving situations and supporting not just CCTV but also infrared and thermal cameras. It seems the specified conditions for the system will require state of the art solutions from the vendor. 

Looking at the positive side, the use of facial data in criminal investigations will likely bring down crime rates. To achieve this, it is expected that the government will be working on a nationwide installation of closed-circuit cameras that can capture facial imagery in real-time. Similar systems have found success in the US and China, where criminal data is shared across different departments, helping to solve investigations effectively.

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Vishal Chawla
Vishal Chawla is a senior tech journalist at Analytics India Magazine and writes about AI, data analytics, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and blockchain. Vishal also hosts AIM's video podcast called Simulated Reality- featuring tech leaders, AI experts, and innovative startups of India.

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