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Facial Recognition Technology and its violations of Human Rights

Facial Recognition Technology and Its Violations of Human Rights

A way forward into the vicissitudes of technology, its applications, and implications in the legal sphere.


Technology has become an inseparable part of our lives. With the advancement of technology and the introduction of new technologies, there is a threat to the violation of Human Rights. One might ponder upon the remedies available and also point out the loopholes that exist. For every remedy, and every technology there exists a loophole that might be used by unethical hackers.

Therefore, the introduction of new legislation and the development or reformation of the legislation has led and might help to limit such acts. Furthermore, with the introduction of the 'Digital India' motion by the government, there has been widespread awareness and advancements in the tech-sphere of the nation. However, every silver coin has two sides. The rapid development in the technological sphere has hampered and infringed the rights of individuals on a significant level.

In an attempt to overcome this intrinsic difficulty, the legislation has taken a step further by introducing new bills and acts. An example would be The Digital Data Protection Act, of 2023. This act surrounds itself with the protection of personal data and introduces the topic of consent in the sharing of digital personal information.

Meaning, Advancement, and Growth of Facial Recognition Technology

Biometrics, assume and establish an intimate relationship between human and technology. It does so by collecting and recognizing biological and behavioral traits. The technology was initially brought into play by the smartphone companies.

An important aspect of blockchain technology is pseudonymity, which means that even if a user's virtual identity is known, their real-world identity cannot be discovered. The different types of biometrics include iris, fingerprint, voice recognition, and face ID. Initially introduced in the 1960s, facial recognition technology has gained importance and relevance rapidly and has only been up-scaling since then.

With the introduction of online KYCs in the registration of banking accounts to facial recognition plane boarding through the Digi Yatra, biometrics have replaced heavy documentation, waiting time, standing in long queues, and money.

Facial Recognition technology allows users to use facial information to authorize and verify the identity of individuals. Using facial recognition software, it is possible to recognize individuals in real-time or in real-world scenarios.

Five fundamental processes may be used to capture and code face recognition data:

  1. gathering data,
  2. dissemination,
  3. processing of signals,
  4. choice-making, and
  5. storage of data.
1 Over the past two decades, facial recognition technology has advanced significantly. The databases that store face information have expanded significantly, as have the identification algorithms' accuracy and efficacy. Given that governmental organizations were responsible for initially funding and facilitating the development of the technology, it is no surprise that these improvements increase the technology's usefulness for law enforcement.

Moreover, as facial recognition technology continues to gain purchase as a law enforcement tool, prosecutors are increasingly likely tempted to introduce such evidence in court. As we give automated machines greater flexibility in decision-making, we must ensure that they are held accountable for upholding human rights. Human surveillance is one instance of using AI for a purported good but could also violate human rights.

Many countries are currently putting new technology into use to stop unlawful and dangerous behavior, including terrorist actions, such as surveillance cameras and biometric tracking. It is used in systems such as national identity cards for ID and health insurance programs, which may use fingerprints for identification. Airport security.

This field sometimes uses biometrics such as iris recognition. Further, due to the popularisation and increasing advantages, this technology was bought by various other firms as an important method to establish a secure method to provide its users with higher security and privacy. Fingerprinting is the most practical and widely used biometric technique. The pattern of ridges and valleys of each fingerprint is unique.

The minutiae-based algorithm is widely used for fingerprint authentication. Along with its efficient methodology of securing accounts and providing privacy, legal issues arise. These include remediation, privacy, and reliability. Alteration of biometrics, using fake biometric samples to impersonate an individual. It also handles circumstances where individuals are incorrectly denied their due rights or access due to a false nonmatch.

The future of biometrics includes adding voice, face, or fingerprint recognitions for securing bank accounts, and for making secure online payments furthermore, this technology could be used to establish locks in the homes, or to establish an authentication of the account and access the sensitive data.

The Legal Sphere:
The right to privacy is protected in the digital sphere by international agreements like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights article 12 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights article 17, as well as regional documents like the European Union's Charter of Fundamental Rights article 7. The usage of the Internet, which is continuously fed more and more information, undermines our right to privacy, though.

This can be given voluntarily, but it can also be deceptively obtained and put to use by criminal networks to demand money from us, by governments to conduct widespread checks and surveillance, or in more banal ways, like when businesses tailor their advertisements to fit our profiles. It is true, as the UN Committee on Human Rights has observed, that not all differentiations in treatment constitute discrimination.

When founded on reasonable and objective criteria, there may be a legitimate goal. Furthermore, it should be noted that the Right to Privacy is considered to be a Fundamental Right under the Indian Constitution, in Article 21. Fraudulent use of the data invades the privacy and infringes the right to privacy of a person. Due to its legal threats, customers were reluctant to use it. Due to its ability to secure accounts and not being a considerable threat of illegal access, customers have started to rely on this technology. However, when there is fraudulent conduct, the legal sector provides remedies that include data protection laws.

The Information Technology Act, of 2000 classifies biometric data as sensitive personal data and contains rules for the collection, disclosure, and sharing of such information. In the event of a violation, recourse can be taken to section 43A 6 of the IT Act. Further, the right to privacy being a constitutional right when infringed, can be appealed in a court of law in the form of a PIL. As for every legal right infringement, there exists a legal remedy.

Human Rights are crucial to survive as a human being and lead one's life with dignity. If there is a violation of such rights it may lead to infringement of various fundamental rights. To name a few, the Right to life, Freedom of expression, and exploitation of privacy. It can, therefore, be deduced that the protection of personal data is the most important part of the development of technology. With the advancements, the need to secure data and information and new ways should also be introduced.

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