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Legal notice to Hyderabad Police Commissioner highlights lack of lawfulness of facial recognition measures

Image representing facial recogntition

In a legal notice served to Hyderabad City Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar, the  Hyderabad Police has been asked to stop using artificial intelligence-based tools especially facial recognition systems for enforcing lockdown. The Hyderabad Police has been taking photographs of citizens who they suspect to be "lockdown violators" without providing any explanation with their official tabs. In this process, the cops also ask citizens to remove their masks. Although police maintain that these pictures are only taken to book petty cases of lockdown violation against a person, activists maintain that facial recognition is involved in the process. https://twitter.com/telangana_nt/status/1394576594778279939 In his notice, Hyderabad-based social activist SQ Masood claimed that this particular drive was devoid of any legal backing and asked officials to stop it. He also asked the police to delete his pictures that were taken by the cops on May 19. MediaNama has reached out to Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar for comments multiple times and the story will be updated when we receive a response. https://twitter.com/SQMasood/status/1399339681972559872 Three issues highlighted in the notice Against the Identification of Prisoners Act 1920: Masood pointed out that the subject of taking photographs by police for law enforcement is governed by the Identification of the Prisoners Act 1920, and that it does not permit security personnel to take photographs except those arrested or convicted of a crime. It also does not permit sharing such photographs with any other law enforcement agency. Demand to remove masks is against Right to Life: Removing the masks for the…

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Among other subjects, I cover the increasing usage of emerging technologies, especially for surveillance in India

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