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India’s NCRB to test automated facial recognition system on ‘mask-wearing’ faces

You are reading it here first: The National Crime Records Bureau will ask companies looking to bid for the controversial Automated Facial Recognition System to showcase that their facial recognition system can identify mask-wearing faces. This, despite studies showing that face masks severely reduce the accuracy rates of facial recognition systems. The NCRB also said that if a system fails to recognise mask-wearing faces, then the bidder’s system will lose marks during evaluation. The AFRS will also have to generate “comprehensive biometric authentication reports” consisting of a person’s face and fingerprints, NCRB said. It revealed this information as part of responses to questions raised by prospective bidders over emails. The AFRS is a centralised web application, and is expected to be the foundation for “a national level searchable platform of facial images”. In its current iteration, the tender document has said that the deployment of the surveillance tool will neither involve the installation of CCTV cameras nor will it connect to any existing CCTV camera anywhere. The surveillance tool will be integrated with centrally maintained databases such as the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), the Inter-operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS), and the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS). The NCRB had held a virtual meeting with interested bidders in July to discuss some of the issues they were facing; MediaNama exclusively reported on the meeting. It had also asked them to email additional concerns. Several companies including from India and abroad are looking to help the NCRB…

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