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Why the Defence Ministry’s security ambitions may pose serious surveillance risks

The Indian MoD’s Acquisition of these AI-driven tools can open up the scope for sophisticated mass surveillance in civilian contexts

A Ministry of Defence (MoD) report highlights 75 artificial recognition (AI) innovations to improve security and protection. Many of these innovations are in the field of targeted surveillance, which can be deployed in public spaces as well. The report titled “Artificial Intelligence in Defence” feautres a fake news detector, a drone for target detection and softwares that can analyse your emotions! Although technologically impressive, these innovations are marred with concerns of mass surveillance and data privacy. With such innovations, a state of constant monitoring seems to be more realistic than ever before, especially in the absence of strong laws to protect your privacy rights. Developments in AI have always challenged the notions of what is humanly possible. India’s defence ministry feels the same and hence, took several steps to incorporate AI into its regime. Why it matters: CCTV cameras are a more common sight than ever before. From traffic lights and roads to offices and malls, the density of cameras is increasing. And so is the amount of surveillance we’re subject to. Moreover, most of this happens without our consent. It’s important to understand how government and privacy tools installed in the name of security and protection can be (and are being) used for surveillance, since they have the ability to track every move you make, your behaviour, your emotions, and so much more.  Let’s have a look at some of the AI innovations in the list of 75 that can be used for surveillance: #1 Facial Recognition System under Disguise…

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I cover privacy, surveillance and tech policy. In my reporting, I try my best to present the most relevant facts, and sometimes add in a pinch of my thoughts.

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