Facial recognition plans for millions of Indian examination candidates
Millions of examination candidates a year will be subject to biometric verification to take common exams administered by the National Testing Agency (NTA) such as the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and Joint Entrance Examinations (JEE) for attending certain college courses, reports Medianama.
The outlet has seen tender documents from a government agency with equipment requirements for vetting candidates including a hand-held facial recognition scanner for every 100 candidates. Live CCTV surveillance and a frisking service are also up for tender.
The screening is intended to detect impersonation and would require iris and fingerprint verification as well as facial recognition.
The exams involved are for entering certain types of university course or to work in certain tertiary education roles. This could involve as many as five million candidates heading to test centers for the computer-based exams. Other exam types have recently announced their intention for biometric verification, increasing candidate numbers further.
The report states a push from the Indian government towards introducing facial recognition in its departments and institutions due to Covid-19. It has also been applied in Covid-19 vaccination centers without legal order.
Activists highlight India’s lack of laws to regulate the use of personal data. Lawyers insist that consent must be acquired from candidates.