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Here’s Why We Shouldn’t Ignore Andhra’s New ‘Attendance by Photography’ System

As per a government order, the facial-recognition based system will also be used for contract workers and leave management.

Andhra Pradesh government employees will be taking extra time checking themselves in the mirror after the state government’s announcement of compulsory ‘attendance by photography.’ On December 26, 2022, a government order stated that a facial recognition-based attendance system will be used to mark attendance across the state, latest by January 16, 2023, The Hindu reported. According to Chief Secretary K.S. Jawahar Reddy, ‘attendance by photography’ provides transparent, efficient and time-bound services to the public. As such, the system will be implemented for employees in Secretariat departments, Heads of Departments and District Offices from January 1, 2023. For employees of all other offices, the new attendance system will start from January 16. Just to be clear, “other offices” includes autonomous organisations, Collectorates, all regional, divisional offices, local bodies, and even mandal and village-level offices, village and ward secretariats. Persons working on contract and outsourcing basis will also have to undergo this system of attendance and leave management. Why it matters: It is very curious how the government seems to have brought in this change to provide “efficient” services to people. Previously, experts told MediaNama that there is no study to show a positive connection between facial recognition-like surveillance and productivity. Instead, such mechanisms enabled employee exploitation and harassment, especially after the recent dilution of labour codes in India. On top of potential depression of wages and the normalization of an invasive workplace culture, there’s also the question of finances and infrastructure to sustain this model across the state. Has the government…

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I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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