Facial Recognition: The New ‘National Security Weapon’ of Other Countries
Government agencies in Australia now have facial recognition technology at their disposal to look up people of interest. They would have a database of individuals taken from photographs on visas, passports and driving licenses.
This technology allows identification of individuals using a digital image of sorts of their face. It uses unique features of the face in the image — shape of the eyes, nose or jaw etc. — to compare the digital image with the one stored in the database.
A sum of $18.5 million to be spent on establishing the National Facial Biometric Matching Capability (NFBMC) was announced by the Australian Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan on Wednesday. He referred to the development as the country’s “newest national security weapon.” Agencies and police would be able to “share and match” photographs of Australians held in existing databases next year onwards.
Speculations regarding similar technology are rife in India, but the country is yet to see any concrete developments in the field. One of the biggest hindrances India would face while establishing such a database would be its humongous population. Meanwhile, Australia’s public announcement has sparked off numerous debates about the nature of this technology -a tool to control crime and maintain security, or another example of the State’s growing control and influence over people?
Do you think its time India got its own ‘National Security Weapon’ of this sort? Let us know in the comments below.
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