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Indian Railways coaches to get 175K facial recognition cameras

Indian Railways coaches to get 175K facial recognition cameras

India has monumental biometric surveillance plans for its equally monumental railway system.

The government has posted a tender to make Indian Railways one of the, if not the most surveilled property on Earth. National and state leaders have gone at this in a piecemeal fashion to date.

When officials finish studding railcars with facial recognition systems, there will be cities that rival their coverage, but they all will be blanket networks. Indian Railways’ will be myriad cables and belts intently watching car interiors.

Railways executives want software capable of cropping video feeds on individual faces, including the faces of children, according to MediaNama, a publication covering India IT policy.

They want 44,038 coaches, each with four, five, six or eight cameras, according to MediaNama.

That’s at least 176,152 cameras. At least some of the footage will be processed aboard trains and transferred to cloud storage.

As many as four cameras running a live web face-cropping app (in parallel with a mobile version) will be bolted within view of each entry and exit door.

Reporting by MediaNama indicates that face matching analysis will happen before the data is sent to the cloud with metadata. At least 100 new faces will have to be processed per hour and coach. All faces — masked, scarved and bare — will be matched with those on criminal databases.

The government wants 99 percent non-masked facial recognition accuracy.

It’s not clear where the staff and infrastructure to do the analysis will be located.

Nor is it clearly legal to scan, analyze and store children’s faces. Guardian consent in all other circumstances is needed under the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, according to MediaNama.

NtechLab has experience providing facial recognition to Indian Railways.

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