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Western Railways Rajkot Division to use facial recognition to detect crime

The Western Railways claimed high accuracy levels but had little to say about privacy measures for passengers.

What’s the news: Western Railways will be implementing a Facial Recognition System based Criminal Dossier Search System to detect crimes against passengers, reported the Free Press Journal on January 30. As per a press release referred to by the publication, the system was developed in-house by the Rajkot Division of Western Railways. Railways claim high levels of accuracy: Sumit Thakur, Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Railway, said that the system was developed with open-source codes, Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning Algorithms. The department claimed that the system can detect emotion, differentiate between human and animals, match faces against a given database of faces, detect covered faces and live track objects, etc. with an accuracy and confidence level between 88 and 93 percent. Can facial recognition achieve such a high accuracy level? If there is, we haven’t seen it in India yet. In 2022, the Delhi police told the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) that the police’s facial recognition system can only detect rioters works with an 80 percent accuracy. Similarly, the government’s ASTR system that scans people’s faces to detect duplicate SIMs cannot match two photos of the same person taken over a period of 15-years. Can it be that an in-house FRS system of the Railways is able to boast of an accuracy rate that is rarely heard of even outside India? RPF officers to take pictures of suspects: The Railway Police Force (RPF) officers will be trained to use this system to identify “suspects/ criminals operating in running…

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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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