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Available Expert - India set to launch nationwide facial recognition system

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Queen’s University experts David Lyon (Sociology) and David Skillicorn (Computing) are available to comment on India installing a nationwide facial recognition system. The system is designed to catch criminals and find missing children, but human rights and technology experts are warning of risks to privacy from increased surveillance.

Likely to be among the world’s biggest facial recognition systems, the government contract is due to be awarded tomorrow (Friday).

“Is India seeking recognition as the global surveillance capital?,” says Dr. Lyon. “Its first national biometric system was Aadhaar and now it plans to add a new national facial recognition system it says will help solve crimes and locate missing children. The lengthy report from the National Crime Records Bureau is all about the tech specifications of the hoped-for system, leaving a massive hole where reassurances about data rights and the risks of mass suspicionless surveillance should be. Surely a risk assessment exercise on the proposed facial recognition system should be a first step?”

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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