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Tamil Nadu Police using facial recognition app to track people in quarantine

facial recognition

Police in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvallur district is using an app that uses facial recognition and geo fencing to keep track of people placed under quarantine, Superintendent of Police for Tiruvallur district, P. Aravindhan, told MediaNama. Called CoBuddy, the Android-only app validates a person’s location using GPS coordinates, and as an added layer of authentication, uses face verification to ascertain their identity. Tiruvallur police has been using the app since March 24, Aravindhan said. About 150 people currently placed under quarantine in Tiruvallur are already using the app, Aravindhan said. They have to provide the app access to their GPS location and enter an image of their face. After that, the police sends them prompts at "random hours, 2-3 times a day" to verify their faces, he informed us. The facial recognition helps the police in making sure that it is indeed the person who has been asked to quarantine, he said. The app continuously checks for the location of the phone and sends an alert to the police if a person steps outside of the geofence, which can be set from anywhere between 10 metres to 100 metres, according to promotional material of the app which was shared with MediaNama. The police can also see a heat map of all quarantined/affected people on a centralised map by district, by area on a centralised web dashboard. Apart from Tiruvallur police, police in Thiruppattur, Kancheepuram and Chengapet are also using the app, while police in Tirunelvelli district is also planning to use…

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