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Lack Of Data Privacy Makes India Unprepared To Deal With Misuse of Technology

"Here law has not been able to protect the citizen," he said, adding that self-regulation of facial recognition will not be effective.

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In India, Duggal said, anybody can misuse this technology without fears of facing any adverse legal consequences. Pixabay

While the usage of facial recognition technology is growing across the world, the absence of any data protection and data privacy law in India makes the country ill-prepared to deal with the misuse of the technology, experts said on Friday.

“There is no legal mechanism to stop misuse of facial recognition technology in India,” Pavan Duggal, one of the nation’s top cyber law experts, told IANS, adding that the Information Technology Act does not specially deal with misuse of this technology.

There is also not any blanket ban on the use of this technology, perhaps because of the benefits that could accrue from the proper usage of the technology that dramatically cuts down the amount of time needed for identifying people or objects in photos and video.

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

In April last year, for example, 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.

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

“In India, there is not even any framework to regulate the storage of facial recognition data. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the situation and they are making such data available on the Dark Net,” he added.

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

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“Here law has not been able to protect the citizen,” he said, adding that self-regulation of facial recognition will not be effective. Pixabay

In a blog post in December 2018, Microsoft President Brad Smith pointed out that certain uses of this technology can increase the risk of biased decisions and outcomes, intrusions into people’s privacy and also encroach on democratic freedoms if the technology is used for mass surveillance.

While defending its own facial recognition technology Rekognition, saying there has been not a single report of misuse of the technology by law enforcement, Amazon Web Services (AWS) on Friday said it also supports the creation of a legislative framework covering facial recognition through video and photographic monitoring on public or commercial premises.

In India, Duggal said, anybody can misuse this technology without fears of facing any adverse legal consequences.

“Here law has not been able to protect the citizen,” he said, adding that self-regulation of facial recognition will not be effective.

Also Read: How Facebook Is Smartly Controlling The Political Ad Transparency In India

“The quicker we are able to provide effective legal mechanism to regulate facial recognition technology, better it is for the country and its citizens,” Duggal added. (IANS)

Next Story

China May Restrict Tech Access in Spiraling US Trade Dispute

The system will build a strong firewall to strengthen the nation's ability to innovate

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China, Technology, US
People try out Huawei smartphone models on display at an electronic store in Beijing, China, May 20, 2019. VOA

China is creating a system to protect its technology, according to state media, as the U.S. restricts the access of Chinese companies to American technology in a spiraling trade dispute.

The People’s Daily newspaper said Sunday that the system will build a strong firewall to strengthen the nation’s ability to innovate and to accelerate the development of key technologies.

“China … will never allow certain countries to use China’s technology to contain China’s development and suppress Chinese enterprises,”the main paper of the ruling Communist Party said, without directly referring to the United States.

No details have been released about what China is calling a national technological security management list. The plan was announced Saturday evening in a brief three-paragraph dispatch by the official Xinhua News Agency.

China, Technology, US

China is creating a system to protect its technology. Pixabay

The aim is to forestall and defuse national security risks more effectively, Xinhua said, adding that detailed measures would be unveiled in the near future.

The initiative follows U.S. moves to restrict sales to Huawei Technologies and other Chinese tech firms on national security grounds.

The U.S. Commerce Department last month added Huawei to its list of entities that are engaged in activities contrary to U.S. national security or foreign policy interests.

As such, any sale of U.S. technology to Huawei will require Commerce Department approval.

Also Read- Sleep Disturbances Associated with Mental Health Problems Among Natural Disaster Survivors

China responded by saying its Commerce Ministry would develop its own list of foreign entities that it regards as “unreliable.” (VOA)