This is the first of a four-part series. You can read the other stories here. You are reading it here first: In Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, if you are 'moving near public toilets', playing cards, or smoking in a public place with 'women-heavy footfall', or if you are someone who is 'lurking' at public spaces, you should expect to be tracked using 700 artificial intelligence-based CCTV cameras. These are among the around 40, often vague, scenarios mentioned by the Uttar Pradesh government that will be detected as 'suspicious activities' by AI-based models deployed as part of the upcoming Lucknow Safe City Project. If that was not alarming enough, the UP government will also be installing 100 facial recognition cameras and setting up a system that is capable of — Storing facial data of 20,000 individuals in real-time Support manual search capabilities of a database comprising 1 lakh faces Labeling faces as 'blacklisted' and generate alerts based on it Essentially, these proposals, which are a part of a tender for appointing a system integrator for the Safe City Project, mark the first step in the transformation of Lucknow into a police city (as an extension of a Police State) by the UP government, in the garb of "fighting crime against women". With queries in this regard, MediaNama reached out to the Home Secretary of the Uttar Pradesh government, who, according to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs website is the nodal officer for the project in Lucknow. On August 16, we also reached…
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