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Face Recognition Technology a Double-edged Sword for India

At a time when pressure is mounting on tech companies to utilise facial recognition technology with care to avoid its misuse, Google has also said it will not offer the controversial technology for now

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A U.S. Customs and Border Protection facial recognition device is ready to scan another passenger at a United Airlines gate (Representational image). VOA

As the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) under Home Ministry aims to install Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS) to track and nab criminals, the debate on the misuse of the face recognition technology has sparked fresh debate in India.

Facing the scrutiny across the globe, the face recognition technology has proved beneficial in some cases, like detecting and disrupting the distribution of child sexual abuse materials online.

In April last year, Delhi Police could identify almost 3,000 missing children in just four days during a trial of a facial recognition system.

While the benefits of the technology for law enforcement agencies in fighting crime and identifying missing people and also for the industry for business purposes cannot be denied, it is the misuse of the technology that can put the citizens of the country in trouble.

According to Pavan Duggal, one of the nation’s top cyber law experts, the Information Technology Act, 2000 does not specially deal with misuse of this technology.

“The first casualty of the absence of regulatory framework for facial recognition technology is people’s right to privacy,” Duggal told IANS.

“In India, there is not even any framework to regulate the storage of facial recognition data,” he added.

Facebook
Face recognition tool was first launched in 2012.

Some of the major technology giants including Microsoft and Amazon also agree that there is a need for governments to regulate this technology.

Microsoft President Brad Smith has shot down calls to stop selling facial recognition software to government agencies, saying the move would be “cruel” as it could hamper good work such as diagnosing rare diseases.

Over 85 human rights groups wrote to Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, demanding the companies should stop selling facial recognition software to the governments as it would lead to surveillance.

In a blog post in December, Smith had said that given the potential for abuse of the fast advancing facial recognition technology, governments across the world need to start adopting laws to regulate this technology.

Also Read: More Than 1,000 Android Apps Gain Your Data Even if Denied Permission: Report

Historians in the US have used the technology to identify the portraits of unknown soldiers in Civil War photographs taken in the 1860s.

“Researchers successfully used facial recognition software to diagnose a rare, genetic disease in Africans, Asians and Latin Americans,” he added. However, he did warn that widespread use of this technology can lead to new intrusions into people’s privacy.

At a time when pressure is mounting on tech companies to utilise facial recognition technology with care to avoid its misuse, Google has also said it will not offer the controversial technology for now. (IANS)

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Only 3% Indian Digital Marketers Calculate ROI Correctly: LinkedIn

According to a report by LinkedIn only 3% Indian digital marketers measure ROI correctly

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LinkedIn report
LinkedIn report says that very few Indian Digital Marketers can calculate ROI correctly. Pixabay

When it comes to measuring return on investment (ROI), only 3 per cent of digital marketers in India are calculating ROI correctly — one of the lowest among all regions and lower than the global average of 4 per cent, a LinkedIn report said on Wednesday.

While 78 per cent digital marketers in India claim to be measuring digital ROI long before a sales cycle has concluded, only 3 per cent of digital marketers are measuring ROI over a six-month period or longer.

This means that many marketers are likely not measuring ROI at all, said the ‘The Long and Short of ROI’ report by Microsoft-owned professional networking platform conducted among 4,000 marketing professionals across 19 countries, including India.

“The report highlights how Indian marketers are struggling to measure the true impact of performance; they are thinking short-term and are measuring KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) instead of ROI,” said says Virginia Sharma, Director, Marketing Solutions – India, LinkedIn.

“Measuring too quickly can have a poor impact on campaigns, specifically in industries such as higher education and real estate where it can take months of consideration before sale,” Sharma added.

Most Indian marketers measure ROI within the first 30 days of the campaign, which results in an inaccurate reflection of the actual return, considering that sales cycles are 60-90 days or longer.

Measuring ROI- LinkedIn
The LinkedIn report found that Indian marketers are struggling to measure the true impact of performance. Pixabay

Fifty per cent digital marketers rely on inaccurate metrics and use cost-per-click as their ROI metric, which does not show impact-per-advertising dollar spent.

As opposed to 58 per cent globally, 64 per cent Indian marketers acknowledged that they needed to show ROI numbers to justify spend and get approval for future budget asks.

This clearly shows how pressured Indian digital marketers are internally, hence rushing to measure and prove ROI, the report noted.

Also Read- Google Introduces its Gaming Subscription Service with 22 Games on Board

While 60 per cent of Indian marketers who measure ROI in the short term end up having budget reallocation discussions within a month, 47 per cent of Indian digital marketers don’t feel confident about their ROI measurements today, the report added.

With over 60 million users, India is LinkedIn’s fastest-growing and largest market outside the US. (IANS)