What’s the news: Delhi resident Mishika Singh took to Twitter on March 4, 2023 to vent her frustration on being unable to get a duplicate SIM card from Airtel India. After losing her phone in Kashmir, she thought it would be a simple matter of approaching the local store and getting a substitute for the lost card. Little did she know that her request would be rejected because her father’s latest photo (the official owner of the SIM) did not match the photo he had provided in 2008! Exasperated with this situation, Singh tweeted, "How on earth is he supposed to look the same after 15 years?" - a question that experts have been asking supporters of facial recognition verification since a while now: https://twitter.com/mishikasingh/status/1632043567173738499 Why it matters: Remember our ASTR explainer? We talked about the ‘Artificial Intelligence and Facial Recognition Powered Solution for Telecom SIM Subscriber Verification – ASTR’ that compared subscriber images provided by Telecom Subscriber Providers to “groups of similar images” to prevent duplication of SIM card registrations. According to the Haryana police, the system has proved useful in deactivating 983 duplicate SIMs in Nuh region. Even the telecom department confirmed the use of ASTR when asked about the same by MPs in the Parliament. However, Singh’s experience highlights how facial recognition is not a fool-proof solution. Issues like failure to detect ageing, low accuracy rates and even racial bias persist in facial recognition and can hinder user experience. So, the real question is: are government agencies…
Want a replacement for your lost SIM card? Biometrics might get in your way
The use of facial data to verify telecom subscribers may not always work since facial recognition technology is not foolproof
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