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Telangana to use facial recognition on voters in upcoming civic elections

The Telangana State Election Commission (TSEC), on January 18, announced that a facial recognition app would be used on a pilot basis at 10 polling stations in the Kompally Municipality in the upcoming civic elections in the state. The department claimed that “impersonation” remains an issue during polls, and a facial recognition system will bring “objectivity to voter verification work”. It further claimed that authenticating voters by using technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and deep learning, that leave behind a digital trail, can help in reducing impersonation cases significantly. The department would use a facial recognition system already being used by the Telangana State Technology Services (TSTS) for validating the identity of pensioners. How the face recognition infrastructure would work: Explaining how the system will work, M. Ashok Kumar, TSEC Secretary, said that an additional polling officer will verify the ID of a voter and then take their picture and upload it to the servers of Telangana State Technology Services, using a Face Recognition app. The photograph will then be “photo matched” using a deep learning based photo comparison app. Prior to that, a voter’s Electors Photo Identity Card, along with something called an “asynchronous ID” would be uploaded to the EPIC system at each polling booth. We have reached out to the state’s election commission for clarification on what 'asynchronous ID' is. The department said that matched IDs would be deemed as authorised voters, and digital logs would be available real time and stored. The entire process would take…

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