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Indian government agencies plan to add facial recognition to social media monitoring

Indian government agencies plan to add facial recognition to social media monitoring

India’s Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh says the country’s security agencies are attempting to use facial recognition to monitor individual’s social media accounts in order to identify cybercriminals, The Huffington Post reports.

Scroll.in reported earlier this month that more than 40 Indian government agencies have been using a tool known as the Advanced Application for Social Media Analytics (AASMA) to track social media activity, and 75 more had requested to use it by mid-way through 2017. AASMA, which can collect data from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and Google+ was developed by the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology.

A 2017 document published by the Bureau of Police Research and Development said that the software would be distributed free of charge to federal and state law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Singh claimed recently that security agencies have observed terrorists recruiting operatives and trading in confidential information online.

“We can track criminals through the CCTV cameras. But at times, it is very difficult to identify and recognize them,” Sing said. “We are trying that face recognition technology is better improved so that if a criminal is not identified by CCTV cameras, there should be a technology to get his face recognized. This is what we are trying… We are also trying that if there is no information about them (criminals) in the CCTNS (crime and criminal tracking network system), we should have such software that can dig into the social media network and collate information about such elements.”

Singh also said that police would eventually have to be given access to Aadhaar, however the UIDAI said earlier this year that the laws backing the national biometric identity program prohibit sharing its data with law enforcement.

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