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Under the State’s watchful eye: India’s major surveillance offensive

Image d'illustration | Manish Swarup / Keystone

The Indian government wants to set up a national facial recognition system. Is this an efficient way of hunting down wrongdoers – or an invasion of privacy?

India’s police service is gearing up. It is planning a national surveillance system that will match images from live cameras in public spaces with databases containing alleged offenders, terror suspects or missing children. If the camera captures someone whose pictures are on the wanted list, an alarm will be triggered. Companies with a track record in facial recognition technology were invited to participate in a tender and submit bids, the deadline being 11 October. The police, which are understaffed, see the technology as an effective way of increasing the success rate of their investigations.

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