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No law allows use of FRS on innocent citizens, says TN MP Ravikumar to Chief Minister Stalin

Ravikumar alleged that Chennai police intends to use CCTV footage to update their Facial Recognition Software database.

What’s the news: Shortly after Chennai police’s tweet confirming the use of facial recognition on residents became viral, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) MP Dr Ravikumar wrote a letter to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. K. Stalin on December 10, 2022. As per The News Minute (TNM), Ravikumar argued that the move was not backed by legal provisions. “There is no law at present, at the national or state level, that allows for this practice employed by the police in Tamil Nadu. The Identification of Prisoners Act, of 1920, is perhaps the only law governing the activities of the police taking photographs of persons without their consent, and even this Act allows photographs to be taken only of people who have been arrested or convicted of a crime,” said Ravikumar in the letter viewed by TNM. Even in case of the aforementioned Act, Ravikumar said that the photographs cannot be shared among law enforcement agencies. Why it matters: As mentioned by Ravikumar in his letter, there is no Standard Operating Procedure for the police to scan the facial features of people. However, even in the recent Data Protection Bill of India, it is stated that citizens have a right to know when their data is being collected, why it is being collected, and with whom it will be shared. However, currently the police seem to be enforcing the concept of 'deemed' or non-consensual consent wherein the Data Principal’s consent to share their data is being taken for granted. It is…

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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.

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