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03-July-2024-Editorial

July 3 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm

REGULATING FACIAL RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY (FRT) IN INDIA 

Facial Recognition Technology (FRT) has become a subject of significant concern globally due to its potential implications for privacy, security, and ethical considerations. In India, the absence of a comprehensive regulatory framework for FRT has prompted calls for robust policies to govern its use effectively. 

Status of Regulation in India: 

Current Scenario: 

  • India lacks a dedicated legal framework specifically regulating FRT. 
  • Existing laws do not adequately address the unique challenges posed by FRT, such as biometric data protection and algorithmic transparency. 

Need for Regulating FRT: 

Multifaceted Challenges: 

  • FRT can capture and process biometric data remotely, raising concerns about privacy violations and algorithmic biases. 
  • Regulatory gaps leave room for misuse and inadequate protection of individual rights. 
  1. Ensuring Responsible Development: 
  • A comprehensive governance framework is essential to ensure responsible development and deployment of FRT. 
  • This includes mitigating risks associated with privacy infringement and misuse of surveillance powers. 

International Thought Leadership: 

  • Proactive regulation positions India as a global leader in FRT governance, influencing international norms and policies. 
  • It fosters public trust and enhances the technology’s acceptance across various sectors. 

Key Proposals for FRT Regulation: 

Standardising Liability: 

  • Introducing a legal framework to define liability and compensate for damages caused by FRT malfunctions or misuse. 
  • This incentivises developers to prioritize safety and ethical considerations. 

Ethical Oversight: 

  • Establishing an independent ethical committee with diverse expertise to oversee FRT implementations. 
  • The committee would ensure transparency, accountability, and mitigate algorithmic biases. 

Transparency in Deployment: 

  • Mandating clear guidelines for deploying FRT systems, including public disclosure of their use in specific areas. 
  • Ensuring consent mechanisms where necessary to protect individual privacy rights. 

Legal Compliance: 

  • Aligning FRT systems with constitutional principles established by the Supreme Court in cases like Justice K. S. Puttaswamy (Retd) vs Union of India. 
  • Emphasising legality, reasonability, and proportionality in deploying FRT for security and other purposes. 

What is Facial Recognition Technology (FRT)? 

Definition and Working: 

  • FRT uses algorithms to create digital maps of facial features from photographs or videos. 
  • These maps are then compared with databases to identify or verify individuals. 

Applications: 

  • Used for authentication purposes such as unlocking smartphones and identity verification in law enforcement. 

Concerns Regarding FRT Technology: 

Inaccuracy and Misuse: 

  • FRT systems may misidentify individuals, especially across different racial and gender demographics. 
  • This can lead to unjust exclusion or targeting of certain groups. 

Privacy Concerns: 

  • Widespread use of FRT for surveillance challenges data privacy and protection laws. 
  • Lack of safeguards can lead to unauthorized data collection and misuse. 

Bias Issues: 

  • Studies show biases in FRT accuracy, impacting fair treatment and reinforcing societal prejudices. 
  • These biases can affect employment opportunities, public safety, and civil liberties. 

FRT Regulation in Other Countries: 

European Union (EU): 

  • GDPR and AI Act categorize FRT as high-risk technology, subjecting it to stringent compliance requirements. 
  • Focus on protecting data privacy and ensuring ethical AI deployment. 

UK, US, Canada, Australia: 

  • Regulation primarily governed by data protection laws and privacy regulations. 
  • Emphasis on transparency, accountability, and addressing biases in FRT systems. 

Way Forward: 

Robust Legal Framework: 

  • Introduce dedicated laws governing FRT deployment by both public and private sectors. 
  • Define lawful purposes, establish accountability mechanisms, and ensure proportionate use. 

Ethical Oversight and Governance: 

  • Create independent oversight bodies to evaluate ethical implications of FRT. 
  • Develop codes of conduct to guide fair and non-discriminatory use. 

Transparency and Data Protection: 

  • Mandate public disclosure of FRT deployments and align governance with upcoming data protection laws. 
  • Strengthen safeguards for biometric data collection, storage, and usage. 

Addressing Bias: 

  • Establish guidelines to minimize biases in FRT algorithms, particularly in critical applications. 
  • Promote research and development towards more inclusive and accurate technologies. 

Global Leadership: 

  • Participate actively in international forums to shape global standards for responsible AI and FRT governance. 
  • Leverage India’s technological capabilities to advocate ethical AI practices globally. 

Details

Date:
July 3
Time:
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category:
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