Aadhaar COVID-19 facial recognition marginalisation
Occurred: April 2021
Plans by the Indian government to use facial recognition integrated within the country's Aadhaar biometric ID system has raised fears that millions of vulnerable people without mobile phones or internet access will lose out on receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations.
According to Reuters, a facial recognition system based on the Aadhaar ID is being tested in the eastern state of Jharkhand as a 'touchless' vaccination process and hence better way of avoiding infection. Should the pilot prove successful, the system may replace fingerprint or iris scans at COVID-19 vaccination centres across the country.
The IFF filed Right to Information requests demanding to know the specific purposes for which facial recognition technology will be used, the legislation which authorises them to do so, and the total expenditure incurred to procure such technology. The IFF also sought to know the list of persons authorised to access the technology, the software and hardware being used, and details of the database.
Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF). Digital Transparency: A Right to Information Report for April, 2021
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Published: February 2023