wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Pension department Embraces Facial Recognition for Pensioner Verification: A Step Forward?

From airports to pensions: Facial Recognition Tech expands in India, but at what cost?

This image was generated by DALL-E.

What’s the news: “Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare (DoP&PW) is possibly one of the first departments in the government sector to have started using the latest ‘Face Recognition Technology’ for establishing Aadhaar-based identification of elderly pensioners to generate ‘Digital Life Certificate’,” said Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions during a press conference on December 11, 2023. While not entirely accurate regarding the “first-time” use of such technology by the government, the news highlights how Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to seep deeper into the administrative system, stressing the need for an AI-regulating law.

What is a DLC? Digital Life Certificate (DLC) is a biometric-enabled digital service for pensioners that does away with the need for physical attendance at the life certificate disbursing agency. Instead, it uses the Aadhaar-enabled biometric authentication mechanism to generate a Digital Life Certificate.

Nearly 20 lakh DLCs generated using face authentication: Now, under the DLC Campaign 2.0, the Ministry is using face authentication technology to generate DLCs using mobile phones. Singh said that out of the total of over 1.17 crore DLCs generated in November, 2023, 19.52 lakh DLCs were generated using face authentication technique. Moreover, of the total figure, 38.99 lakh DLCs were generated by Central Government Pensioners, out of which 9.76 lakh pensioners used face authentication.

FRT bad at detecting ageing: Although ease of living to simplify administrative work is a welcome step, it is important to remember that facial recognition technology (FRT) comes with its own unique limitations like the inability to detect ageing with regard to this use case. A notable example of this is the March 2023 incident when a Delhi-based person failed to get a duplicate SIM card because their original photo submitted 15 years ago did not match their updates picture. The ASTR facial recognition system of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) wrongly identified the photos to be of two different people, complicating the whole process for the elderly person rather than simplifying it.

There’s also the concern of whether a pensioner can properly take their own photo using their camera. A blurry or low-resolution photo can lead to similar complications with face authentication since FRT has an accuracy rate of around 80 percent.

Previous departments to have employed FRT: As the above text may already have tipped you off, the pension department is not among the first to employ facial recognition. In fact, in March 2023, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) listed as many as six ways in which the government was collecting facial data of citizens. This includes not just systems like ASTR but also the DigiYatra initiative to ease airport experience, Meghraj Cloud meant to accelerate e-services in India and even government offices in Delhi.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

STAY ON TOP OF TECH NEWS: Our daily newsletter with the top story of the day from MediaNama, delivered to your inbox before 9 AM. Click here to sign up today!


Also Read:

Written By

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.

Free Reads

News

The service from the tie-up will initally be launched at Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam railway stations

News

The Minister's response came after an X user posted answers generated by Gemini regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

News

Vaishnaw said that in the next five years, there will be significant disruptions in the way telecom technology operates.

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

Views

News

Notably, Indus Appstore will allow app developers to use third-party billing systems for in-app billing without having to pay any commission to Indus, a...

News

The existing commission-based model, which companies like Uber and Ola have used for a long time and still stick to, has received criticism from...

News

Factors like Indus not charging developers any commission for in-app payments and antitrust orders issued by India's competition regulator against Google could contribute to...

News

Is open-sourcing of AI, and the use cases that come with it, a good starting point to discuss the responsibility and liability of AI?...

News

RBI Deputy Governor Rabi Shankar called for self-regulation in the fintech sector, but here's why we disagree with his stance.

You May Also Like

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ