Telangana Minister KTR Calls for Greater Transparency in Government’s Use of Facial Technology

Telangana Information Technology Minister KT Rama Rao said that one of the toughest challenges in using technologies like facial recognition in conjunction with artificial intelligence (AI) is gaining citizens’ trust that the government is using such data in an unbiased manner.

According to him, the use of this technology also remains complicated because citizens need to be convinced that they are not under surveillance unless they are notified.

The Minister also mentioned that the only way to achieve this is to first define the regulatory powers that each governmental organization will need.

“These powers should be given to them in a completely parliamentary and transparent manner,” Rama Rao said, adding that with the right regulatory communication, it can make it easier for the police to help citizens with their needs.

During a panel discussion on “Artificial Intelligence on the Street: Managing Trust in the Public Square” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, he said facial recognition not only reduced reliance on material resources, but also reduced the time it took for authorities to find out criminals and individuals the missing.

The panel also included Takayuki Morita, President, NEC Japan, CEO and Representative Director, Angie Nicole OD, CEO Ushahidi, South Africa, and Coen van Oostrom, CEO and Founder, Edge Tech.

However, he stressed the importance of transparency, saying that every step the government uses facial recognition technology must be shared with the public first before it is used by government organizations.

According to the minister, the government recognizes the benefits of facial recognition in regulation and policing. Therefore, public confidence in this system must be strengthened through optional systems that can expose them to the method and only then expand its scope, he said.

In addition, Rama Rao said, “We need minds who are well versed in artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, data science and the risks that come with their use. The data used must be fully secured and security must be verified.”

Concerns about facial recognition

In recent years, many have questioned the accuracy of facial recognition technologies and their role in identity theft.

In some cases, law enforcement has improperly implicated innocent people in riots. Moreover, many people are concerned about identity management and storage, which is the concern of privacy advocates around the world.

One of the most common societal concerns is the lack of transparency in how information is stored and maintained. Facial recognition technology violates citizens’ basic right to be under constant government surveillance and to keep their photos without their consent.

According to human rights advocates, facial recognition, when combined with ubiquitous cameras and data analytics, leads to mass surveillance, which could jeopardize citizens’ freedom and private rights.

For example, in China, this technology has been used by the authorities for a long time. Its use in the country is increasing, from street cameras to apps that need biometric authentication, but a survey by a state media outlet showed Chinese citizens are skeptical about its use in public places.

Even this technology is also used by the Chinese authorities to target Uyghurs and check their feelings in the Xinjiang region.

However, in the other part of the world, the European Commission has received an open letter from 51 organisations, seeking a blanket ban on all facial recognition software for mass surveillance. Likewise, more than 43,000 European citizens have joined the “Back Your Face” campaign, which calls for an end to biometric mass surveillance in the European Union.

It should be noted that the European Commission banned facial recognition technology in public places for up to five years in 2020 as part of a regulatory reform that included privacy and moral abuse rules.

Despite concerns about facial recognition, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has proposed some principles that would help ensure the ethical use of the technology. here they are:

• Before adding citizens’ biometric data to the facial recognition database, organizations must obtain written and informed consent from them.
• Technologies should not be used to determine a person’s skin color, race, religion, national origin, gender, age, or disability.
• Without the express written consent of the data subject, the results of facial recognition technology should not be circulated or published.
• Citizens should be able to view, update and remove their facial data, as well as track any modifications made to the data.
• Organizations must establish policies for data compliance and use, as well as the technical mechanisms required to ensure accountability.
• Facial recognition data must be hosted, managed, and secured by organizations with dedicated security personnel – as there is always the risk of cyberattacks and data theft.
• End users are required to maintain an audit trail that includes information collection, use, and disclosure details, as well as date and time stamps and information requester details.

Read all the latest news, breaking news and live updates for IPL 2022 here.

Leave a Comment