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The Urgent Need For Legislation To Regulate Facial Recognition Technology In India

Facial recognition technology has emerged as a powerful tool in the recent years with hits application spanning across a wide range of sectors. From improving security measures to facilitating seamless authentication process facial recognition technology has been adopted by government, law enforcement agencies, and private entities. However, the expansion of this technology has raised various concerns about its potential misuse which leads to call for regulation and oversight over the facial recognition system.[1]

In India, the use of facial recognition technology has gained significance in the recent years, with the government ruling out various initiatives for harnessing the benefits of facial recognition system.[2] As an instance, the Digi-yatra is utilised to create a streamline screening process for airport passengers. Additionally, the Aadhaar card is used for identification purposes of missing children. Furthermore, the technologies employed for identification at political demonstrations and has been arrayed by law enforcement agencies. The national AFRS is also in use and it is employed to detect illegal migrants in Manipur, among other purposes.

Despite the widespread utilization of this technology, absence of any legislation has left a void or loophole that could potentially be exploited. It means that there is no clear accountability framework for those deploying facial recognition technology, leading to concerns about privacy violations and potential misuse.[3] Additionally, there are concerns that algorithms used in facial recognition technology may be buyers and discriminatory, particularly against any particular community, race, ethnicity, etc.[4] [5] [6]

This paper argues that there is an urgent need for legislation to regulate facial recognition technology in India. The paper will examine the potential risk associated with the unregulated use of facial recognition technology including privacy violations, discrimination and misuse, and highlight the need for regulation framework to ensure transparency and accountability.

Knowing What Is (FRT) Facial Recognition Technology?

Facial recognition technology is it computerized process that compares two pictures of faces to see if they belong to the same person. First, the computer measures specific features of the face, like the nose, eyes and mouth and turns them into a mathematical representation called a face template. It then compares this template to other face templates stored in a database to find a match. FRT can also be used to verify a person's identity by comparing their face to a known template.[7]

The accuracy of FRT depends on various factors, including the quality of the photograph or image captured, the makeup done, lighting available, and distance between subject and camera and angle from which the image is being captured. Other factors such as variations in post lighting and facial expression can also negatively affect the accuracy of the automated facial analysis.[8] These factors can cause errors in matching process leading to incorrect identifications.

Accuracy challenges:
Facial recognition systems have different abilities when it comes to identification of people and there is no system which can guarantee 100% accuracy under all conditions therefore, it is important for every facial recognition system to report its error rate which include false positive and false negatives.

A false positive in facial recognition technology refers to the erroneous matching of an individual image with a different image in the database.[9] This can have serious consequences, such as mistakenly identifying a person as a suspect in a criminal investigation or linking an innocent individual to an unlawful activity.[10] For instance, a for law enforcement agency submits a photo of "John" to the database but FRT system incorrectly matches it to "Mike", it can lead to wrongful targeting of an innocent person.

A false negative in facial recognition technology is a situation where the system is unable to identify a person's face despite having their image stored in its database. This can happen when you use a face recognition to unlock your phone but this system fails to recognise you and it returns zero result in response to your query and does not unlock the smartphone.

Reporting these errors rate get help users understand the limitations and performance of particular face recognition system and make informed decision about its use.

Use Cases Of FRT In India

In recent years, facial recognition technology has been increasingly adopted by the Indian government as a means to enhance security commerce solve crimes and track and identify missing children and people and other category of individuals. However, there is a significant lack of information available publicly regarding the criteria used to implement these systems as well as how data is collected, stored and utilised.

According to data compiled by the Internet freedom foundation common a digital rights advocacy organization in India, there has been a significant increase in the deployment of facial recognition systems by authorities in India. As of August 2022, 124 facial recognition systems have been deployed in India as compared to 75 system as that of November 2021.[11]

Some of the use cases and application of Facial recognition system are as follows:
  1. Digi-Yatra
    Facial recognition technology has been deployed at airports under Digi-Yatra policy of Indian government. This aims to provide a seamless and paperless travel experience for air passengers. In 2018, the ministry of Civil Aviation launched a policy that consisted of a facial biometric boarding system which aimed to facilitate automated processing at airports.[12]

    Digi-yatra system uses FRT system for the verification of a passenger's identity at multiple checkpoints throughout the airport, which allows us smoother and more efficient travel experience for the air passengers. While the system is intended to improve the travel experience of the air passengers, they concerns have been raised about the potential privacy implications of collection and storing facial recognition data in this manner.
  2. Aadhar and FRT
    The integration of facial recognition technology in India's national identity system Aadhar was proposed by unique identification authority of India in 2018. As per the plan, this system was to be used as a part of authentication process pharma offering users the option of combining multiple authentication methods approved by the central government to create a multi factor authentication process. This was aimed for enhancing the security of Aadhar and preventing fraud, but it also gave rise concerns over the potential risk associated with the use of art for identification.
  3. Identification missing children
    Facial recognition technology is being utilised in India for the purpose of locating missing children and it has exhibited positive outcomes. A report from April 2018 indicated that a trial of FRT system, which was commissioned by Delhi high court, was successful in accurately identifying nearly 3000 missing children.[13] This automated system was employed to track and reunite these children with their families as a result of the Sadhan Haldar v. state of NCT of Delhi case[14], where the Delhi High Court mandated the utilization of this system for the purpose of identifying missing children.
  4. Identification of political protests
    As per a news article, the Delhi Police utilized computerized facial recognition system software to scan the masses at a political assembly, which was graced by the presence of the Hon'ble PM (Prime Minister) in December 2019.[15] The article also indicated that the department of Police, Delhi had compiled a record of photographs of 1,50,000 individuals with criminal backgrounds, 2000 photos of terrorism suspects, and a third classification for delinquents for ordinary law enforcement activities.[16]
  5. Different state law enforcement agencies deploying facial recognition technology
    1. Punjab AI (Artificial Intelligence) System:
      The police department in the Indian state of Punjab has implemented the use of a facial recognition system, which uses an AI technology and is known as the Punjab Artificial Intelligence System. This system utilizes various technologies including FRT, natural language processing, phonetic search, and gang analysis to search through a database that contains photos of convicts and inmates in jails across the state of Punjab.[17] The system also enables the officers to capture an image with their smartphone and scan it against the database.[18]
    2. Pehchaan in Mirzapur:
      Mirzapur district in Uttar Pradesh has implemented the Pehchaan citizen application which includes Microsoft's sophisticated FRT. The software offers a certainty rating that calculates the probability of 2 faces belonging to the same individual by cross referencing the face with the comprehensive national criminal database.[19] According to the application's guidelines, law enforcement can use the program to establish a criminal database while hotel operators can request register guest information and businesses can perform background checks. Additionally, members of the general public can use it to validate the identities of individuals they encounter.
    3. Real-time facial recognition systems deployed by Chennai and Surat police:
      The police in Chennai employ FaceTagr technology to carry out real-time comparisons of CCTV footage with the criminal databases of the state, which triggers immediate alerts whenever a match is found.[20] In Surat, the police depend on NEC's new facial technology to track individuals with a prior history of pickpocketing and chai snatching in crowded areas.[21]
    4. Pilot project for remote facial recognition system in Delhi Police:
      Delhi Police is testing the use of remote facial recognition system in its e-beat book app which is currently equipped with fingerprint scanning technology. The app is being developed to incorporate efforts to assist beat cops and police control room vehicles in identifying suspects. The project is still in pilot stage and has not been fully deployed.[22]
    5. Facial Recognition System (FRS) launched in Manipur to check illegal immigration:
      The Manipur state government has introduced a facial recognition system for the inner line permit scheme, aimed at identifying and tracking legal immigrants from countries like Myanmar and Bangladesh. The FRS has been set up in multiple locations including Imphal airport and Jiribam. Thanks to the new system, two non-locals were already identified and apprehended at the Imphal airport and Ima market. Additionally, 410 Myanmar citizens who lacked valid documentation were also arrested. The government has been working on separating domestic tourists from illegal immigrants, and the FRT is expected to help streamline the entry and exit process for permit applicants and holders in the future.[23]

  6. National AFRS:
    The original RFP (request for proposal) issued by the NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) of the Home Ministry in 2019 was for a national automated facial recognition system (AFRS) to update the police force with new tech and enable information recording, investigation, and sharing among organizations.[23] To accomplish this, the AFRS would require the creation of a centralised database capable of identifying individuals from digital images, videos, and sketches based on various features such as contours and other significant data points. Additionally, the system would be able to match suspect photographs with a database created using photographs from various databases and services.

    The AFRS should also be able to match suspect faces with pre-recorded video feeds from CCTV cameras deployed in critical locations or with video feeds from private or other public organizations. The database would have two categories, namely criminal and non-criminal, and the AFRS solution would not be integrated with the Aadhaar database. The NCRB data center would host the AFRS, and it would only be accessible to the police in the country within a secure environment.[24]

However, the RFP was revised in June 2020, and the updated version eliminated the need for strict adherence to international standards. It also required the AFRS to integrate with existing crime analytic solutions, and it expanded the database to include scene of crime images and videos. Unlike the initial RFP, it did not specify which databases should be used, giving the government full control over the matter. The revised RFP also clarified that the AFRS would not require the installation of new CCTV cameras or involve CCTV system integration.[25]

Why There Is An Urgent Need Of Regulatory Framework

Facial recognition technology is rapidly being used in India from Air Force to law enforcement however, the lack of any data protection laws has raised concerns among civil liberty advocates who fear that their technology may be used without adequate safeguard. The utilization of facial recognition technology by the Chinese government to monitor its citizens has raised concerns about its potential to violate the right to privacy.[26] Thus, there is an urgent need of regulatory framework due to the following aspects of Facial Recognition system:

  1. FRT & right to privacy:
    The use of facial recognition technology has the potential to violate an individual's right to privacy. In the case of K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd) v Union of India[27], the Supreme Court recognises the right to privacy as a fundamental right under article 21 of the Indian constitution. Both private companies and government can intrude into an individual's personal life without their consent by utilising facial recognition technology. As surveillance camera networks and facial recognition technology continue to expand it become easier to track and individuals' movement and activities. The lack of regulation further accelerates the problem, and without appropriate safeguard, the facial recognition technology would erode privacy. It is therefore essential to regulate the use of facial recognition technology to ensure that it does not infringe upon an individual's right to privacy.
  2. Error and inaccuracy leading to shift in burden of proof:
    The lack of regulation surrounding facial recognition technology raises concern about the accuracy and reliability of this technology the inaccuracy in this system can implicate innocent people for crimes they didn't crime and place a burden on them to prove their innocence.[28] The occurrence of false positives can I have a serious impact on their traditional presumption of innocence in criminal cases, making it more challenging for defendants to prove their innocence.[29] this is especially true one of facial recognition system generates multiple search results as each of the identified individuals may be subject to questioning common despite a lack of evidence linking them to the crime.

    Peter Schaar, a former federal data protection commissioner in Germany, has highlighted the issue of false positive in facial recognition systems stating that they pose a significant challenge for democratic societies. Innocent people may be treated as suspects and compelled to justify their actions, with authorities performing bear further checks resulting in unwarranted harassment.[30]
  3. Curbing of Civil Liberties:
    It is important to recognise the significant impact that facial recognition technology can have on civil liberties specially in regard to free speech and political dissent.[31] FRT has the potential to accumulate identifiable photographs of individuals without their knowledge does threatening their right to privacy and anonymity full this accumulation of data can be used to identify and track individuals who participate in political processions, potentially leading to increased monitoring/surveillance and restrictions on freedom of association this have a chilling effect on free speech and their right to dissent as individuals may be hesitant to participate in political activities out of fear of being wrongly identified or being targeted by the law enforcement agencies.
  4. Misuse against particular communities:
    In India, the use of FRT could further exaggerate existing biases and discrimination within law enforcement and criminal justice systems full stock historical discrimination against marginalised communities such as Muslims, schedule cast and schedule tribes has led to their disproportionate representation in the prison population. This could result in further targeting of these already vulnerable groups. Despite making only 39% of the Indian population, these communities are disproportionately represented in the prison population, with 55% of the undertrials coming from these communities.[32] [33] The technology could also be used to falsely implicate individuals in crimes they did not commit, particularly those who have been historically discriminated against by law enforcement agencies. Given the prevalence of false accusations and convictions against Dalit and Muslims it Is crucial that the use of fart is regulated and monitored to prevent the perpetuation of systematic discrimination and violation of civil liberties.
  5. Governmental surveillance and chilling effect:
    Use of facial recognition technology by governments raises concern about the power in balances the state and the citizens because it enables camera-based surveillance. This can also result to a chilling effect where people exercise their freedom of assembly and association due to fear of negative consequences. Also, ubiquitous facial recognition technology can result in people to change their behaviour, withdraw from social life and avoid visiting places under surveillance which can weaken their capacity to live a dignified life. While the Indian government have used the technology for positive purposes it is important to consider the negative facts of governmental surveillance.[34]

Whether The Use Of Facial Recognition Technology Is Legally Valid In India?

The possibility of Infringing a form an individual's privacy rights as raised concern from guarding facial recognition technology full staff in India, Terry constituted law acknowledges the right to privacy as mental rights under article 21, as sales by the Supreme Court landmark ruling in K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India[35]. Although reasonable limitations may be imposed on this right, they must conform to a triple standard, which includes legitimate state interest, lawful assistance, and proportionality.

One of the fundamental prerequisites derived from Article 21 is the existence of a law that stipulates no one can be deprived of their personal liberty or life except through a procedure established by law. The Supreme Court has expounded on this principle by affirming that any language that deprives personal liberty must be reasonable, just, and equitable, rather than arbitrary, fanciful, or operational. It is imperative that any constraints on the right to privacy in connection with facial recognition technology comply with these principles to safeguard the rights of individuals.

In the case of Md. Arif v. Registrar[36], the Supreme Court held that Article 21 should be considered in conjunction with other fundamental rights. Consequently, the law itself must be reasonable in addition to the requirement that the procedure established by law should be just, equitable, and reasonable. This includes the regulation of technologies such as facial recognition, which must be governed by laws that are fair, just, and reasonable in order to comply with this requirement.

  1. No legislative backing to Facial recognition Technology in India
    Article 21 of the Indian Constitution recognizes the right to privacy as a fundamental right. Whenever the state infringes upon this right, the first prerequisite to be satisfied is the presence of a law. However, the absence of specific legislation in India to regulate the use of facial recognition technology has raised concerns about the legality and constitutionality of such systems.

    Article 21 of the Indian constitution recognises the right to privacy as a fundamental right. Whenever the state in fringes upon this right, the first prerequisite to be satisfied is the presence of a law. However, the absence of specific legislation in India to regulate the use of facial recognition technology has raised concerns about the legality and constitutionality of such systems.

    In July 2019, the Internet Freedom Foundation raised this issue by issuing a legal notice to the National Crime Records Bureau and the Ministry of Home Affairs, requesting the recall of the request for the creation of an Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS). The NCRB contended that the creation of AFRS was approved by a 2009 cabinet notification, but this notification does not qualify as a statutory enactment and cannot be a substitute for the required legislative sanction.

    In July 2019, the Internet Freedom Foundation raised this issue by issuing a legal notice to the NCRB and home ministry, requesting the recall of the request for the creation of an AFRS. The NCRB contended that he creation of AFRS was approved by a 2009 cabinet notification, but this notification does not qualify as a statutory enactment and cannot be a substitute for the required legislative sanction.[37]

    In the matter of K.S. Puttaswamy v Union of India[38], it was ruled by the Supreme Court of India that a valid law under the Constitution cannot be fulfilled by an executive notification. Hence, an executive notification alone cannot justify any violation of the fundamental right to privacy. In this scenario, a valid law must be passed by the Parliament, which must also meet the criteria of being just, fair, and reasonable.

    The absence of legislative backing for the use of facial recognition technology in India raises serious concerns about its legality and constitutionality. Any laws regulating the use of such technology must comply with the constitutional requirements of fairness, reasonableness, and justness.
  2. Facial Recognition Technology: Legality and State Compliance
    The principle of legitimate state aim and proportionality is a corner store of insuring that laws and actions taken by the government are reasonable and do not infringe the rights of citizens. However, in case of use of facial recognition technology there are concerns that it may not be in confirmative with these principles. The Supreme Court in Puttaswamy case[39] held that a legitimate state aim is required to ensure that laws imposing restrictions fall within the zone of reasonable lens mandated by article 14. Without a clear legal foundation to justify the use of Facial Recognition Technology (FRT), it becomes difficult to determine whether the objectives behind its deployment are legitimate and proportional.
Furthermore, the application of Automated Facial Recognition Systems (AFRS) ranges from identifying criminals to streamlining air travel for passengers. This lack of specificity in purpose raises concern about the proportionality of the use of fart over large segment of the population for varied Pope purposes. The modern dental college and research centre v state of Madhya Pradesh[40] case the honourable SC specified the components of proportionality standards, which include the need for a legitimate goal, suitable means, no less restrictive alternatives, and no disproportionate impact on the right.

Ensuring compliance with proportionality standards is crucial one deploying any technology, including facial recognition systems pharma as it is important to assess weather less intrusive mechanisms could be adopted to achieve the same objective. When analysing the proportionality of an automated facial recognition system it is vital to consider factors such as minimization and retention measures legitimate sources of images forma severity of offences justifying its use, and checks against mission creep. However, the request for proposal for the creation of such a system does not address these issues creating concerns about the proportionality of its useful stop the RFP even allows for a vast number of images to be stored further amplifying these concerns.

FRT's Legal Landscape In India

  1. The draft (PDP Bill) Personal Data Protection Bill 2019
    The personal data protection bill 2019 and its implications for the use of facial recognition technology in India happen a topic of much debate and discussion. The bill which has been in the works of several years, aims to provide a comprehensive framework for the protection of personal data in India.

    Under the PDP bill, facial images, iris scans and fingerprints are classified as biometric data and are considered sensitive personal data. Any data fiduciary- weather in the public or private sector- that uses such data must conduct a data protection impact assessment prior to deploying FRT.[41]

    However, there are some concerning provisions in the bill that could potentially exempt law enforcement agencies from complying with these requirements for example, the central government has the farmer to exempt any agency from the application of all or some provisions of the bill full additionally certain provisions of the deal can be exempted in personal data is being processed in the interest of prevention communication investigation or prosecution of any offence or contravention of any law. [42]

    The will also stabilises a data protection authority to oversee the processing of personal data by private and state entry direction of the data protection authority can be circumvented by the central government to attempt surveillance and law enforcement agencies, thereby preventing any inquiry into the states use of FRT. [43]

    It should be noted that the usage of FRT does not fall squarely into any of the currently prohibited legal surveillance capabilities in India.The technology could be viewed as a tool used by launch placement to carry out their duties but any use of FRT must satisfy the 3-fold requirement laid by the Supreme Court- legality, legitimate aim and proportionality.[44]

    The personal data protection bill 2019 is an important step towards protecting personal data in India but it remains to be seen how it will be implemented and enforced particularly in the context of FRT.
  2. Does Information Technology Act provide legal backing to FRT?
    While there is no law specifically requiring the use of facial recognition technology, the state can argue that the IT act provides a legal basis for the use FRT as an extension of its surveillance powers. However, it is not clear whether the use of FRT falls within the scope of interception, and monitoring as outlined in the IT Act. If FRT is viewed as a separate activity, the act would not explicitly allow the implementation of FRT. The legality of FRT would then depend on the existence of a law mandating it and whether it satisfies the legitimate state aim and proportionality test therefore while the IT act allows for the collection of data from existing CCTV feeds, it cannot serve as an explicit legal validation for the establishment of dedicated FRT systems.[45]
  3. Can the Telegraph Act Legally Support Facial Recognition Technology?
    The use of FRT under the said act hinges on whether it can be categorised as monitoring. However, similar to the IT act, it's uncertain whether this argument would meet the legality requirements put forth in Puttaswamy case[46] even if it does it must still pass the legitimate state aim and proportionality test.[47]

Facial recognition technology is becoming more common in India among low enforcement and the state, albeit in its early stages by analysing the available information pharma some observations can be made about the use of a party in India:
  1. Need for a legal and regulatory framework:
    • As facial recognition technology becomes more ubiquitous, policymakers must consider key safeguards to ensure that it is deployed in a responsible and ethical manner.
    • These safeguards include standard of necessity and proportionality that must be explicitly integrated into any regulatory framework.[48]
    • Oversight, accountability, and redressal mechanism must also be established.
    • Data protection impact assessment and human rights impact assessment should be conducted prior to deploying a party system to mitigate potential harm to the individual's right.[49]
    • Consent and notice structure needs to be defined along with purpose limitation and retention and deletion standard to protect against function creep.
    • In order to ensure transparency and accountability in the use of Facial Recognition Technology (FRT) in India, it is crucial to establish an opt-out standard that allows individuals to demand access to data kept about them in FRT databases.[50]
    • It is also important to clarify the roles and decision-making processes of individuals like David and Sherry, and to define a clear set of actions to be taken in the event of a match.[51]
    • Additionally, a standard statistical framework must be established and harmonized across all uses of FRT in India to confirm a match with high accuracy.[52]
  2. To what extent PDP bill can be applied?:
    • It is noteworthy that the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement in India will be affected by the Personal Data Protection Bill.
    • As per Clause 92 of the PDP Bill, the processing of facial images must be sanctioned by law.
    • However, it remains uncertain whether facial images will be categorized as a form of biometric data that is safeguarded under Clause 92, which is dependent on the decision of the central government.[53]
    • The impact of the PDP Bill on the use of FRT by law enforcement will also depend on whether they are exempt from Clause 35 or other provisions of the act.[54]
    • It remains to be seen how these factors will be addressed in the final version of the PDP bill, and how they will impact the use of FRT in law enforcement in India.[55]
  3. Need for comprehensive and harmonized regulation of CCTVs:
    • The use of public and private CCTV cameras for systems like AFRS highlights the need for comprehensive and harmonised regulation of CCTV uses by both public and private sectors in India.[56]
    • Currently, regulations governing CCTVs vary across different cities or are non-existent altogether.
    • This lack of standardization and oversight underscores the need for clear regulations to be put in place prior to the implementation of systems like AFRS.
    • Such regulations would provide necessary safeguards to protect privacy and human rights and ensure transparency and accountability in the use of CCTV cameras for facial recognition purposes.[57]
  4. Clarity needed for scope and process of FRT systems:
    • There is a need for greater clarity and comprehensive regulation of FRT systems in India, particularly in relation to their scope, structure, and processes.
    • Several key areas require attention, including the basis and process for creating FRT databases, the organization and categories within such databases, the scope and the objective of the databases, the process and grounds for using FRT, the process for comparison in a database, technical feasibility and accuracy, and the role of algorithms.[58]
    • In order to ensure that FRT systems are not misused and operated effectively, it is important to address these issues and establish clear guiding principles and protocols for the development and deployment of such systems.
  5. Public discourse needed to address implications and use of FRT systems:
    • The use of FRT systems connected to criminal databases by different actors highlights the need for robust public disclosure on its implications and appropriate use.
    • It is important to clearly articulate the scope and dangers involved in implementing FRT and educate the public on the matter.[59]
    • The proposed regulatory framework must be subject to input from the public, including underrepresented communities, to address the potential impact of the technology.[60]
    • Research organizations, public policy bodies, and think tanks should take the onus to facilitate public disclosures.
  6. Research needed to assess impact of FRT in India:
    Facial recognition technology has the potential to impact individuals and communities in significant ways. Therefore, it is essential to conduct research to understand its impact and potential harms. The following areas require further research:
    1. Exploration of Bias and Discrimination: It is imperative to conduct research to determine how the use of facial recognition technology may lead to novel forms of discrimination and reinforce existing biases in India. Factors like skin color, geography, religion, caste, etc. should be analyzed to assess the potential biases, accuracy, and effectiveness of FRT in India.
    2. Accuracy and Reliability: The accuracy and reliability of data used in facial recognition should be researched to determine if the system and data sources are dependable in India.
    3. Impact on Fundamental Rights: The effect of FRT misuse on fundamental rights, such as privacy, freedom of expression, and the right to assembly, needs to be comprehended. Research must be conducted to identify how much it can be integrated into the legal and constitutional framework while preserving these rights.
    4. Impact on Social Behavior and Norms: Research is required to comprehend how the existence and extensive use of facial recognition technology in public spaces could alter conceptions of acceptable conduct in public and potentially coerce individuals towards specific forms of behavior.


It is evident that the use of facial recognition technology in India poses significant risk and concerns related to privacy, discrimination, accuracy and fundamental rights. Therefore, there is an urgent need for a regulatory framework that sets clear guidelines for the use of FRT by different entities. Search a framework must address concerns related to bias and discrimination, accuracy of data, impact on fundamental rights and social norms. Moreover, there is a need for continuous research and public disclosure to ensure that the use of FRT is transparent, ethical and respectful of human rights.

Without such measures, deployment of FRT in India could lead to serious harms to individual and communities, particularly those from marginalised groups. Therefore, it is crucial that Indian government and other stakeholders take urgent action to address the risk andharm posed by FRT and establish a regulatory framework that safeguards the right and dignity of all the individuals.

  1. Pranav Mukul and Anil Sasi, Facial recognition spreads, concern over absence of data protection law, Indian Express, August 28, 2021,
  2. Rahul Raj, How Facial Recognition Is Becoming The Indian Government's New Best Friend, Analytics India Magazine (March 13, 2020),
  3. Elizabeth Fernandez, Facial Recognition Violates Human Rights, Court Rules, Forbes (August 13, 2020),
  4. Zoe Schiffer, Facial recognition software is still biased against people of color and women, federal study confirms, The Verge (December 20, 2019),
  5. Sarah Davis, Saturday Seminar: Facing Bias in Facial Recognition Technology, The Regulatory Review (March 20, 2021),
  6. AJ Willingham, What 'techno-racism' is and why you should care about it, CNN (May 9, 2021),
  7. GeeksforGeeks, Face Recognition using Artificial Intelligence, GeeksforGeeks, (March 30, 2022),
  8. Vahid Mohammadi, Mojtaba Shabani, and Sajjad Rostami, Factors Affecting the Recognition Accuracy of Facial Expressions, MOJ Anatomy & Physiology 7(5): 214-216 (2020),
  9. Electronic Frontier Foundation, Face Recognition, Electronic Frontier Foundation, (May 10, 2023),
  10. Electronic Frontier Foundation, Face Recognition, Electronic Frontier Foundation, (May 10, 2023),
  11. Abhijit Ahaskar, Almost 50 new facial recognition systems in India, but still no laws, TechCircle (August 26, 2022),
  12. Digi Yatra: A new digital experience for air travellers, (May 10, 2023),
  13. India setting up world's biggest facial recognition system, DW (November 25, 2019),
  14. (W.P. (CRL) 1560/2017.
  15. Aneja, Urvashi and Chamuah, Angelina, We Need to Ban Facial Recognition Altogether, Not Just Regulate Its Use, The Wire (January 18, 2020),
  16. Jay Mazoomdaar, Delhi Police film protests, run its images through face recognition software to screen crowd, Indian Express (December 28, 2019),
  17. Express Computer Bureau, Punjab Police won Smart Policing Award for Punjab Artificial Intelligence System, Express Computer (May 17, 2019),
  18. ibid.
  19. Ambika Choudhury, How Facial Recognition Is Becoming The Indian Government's New Best Friend, Analytics India Magazine, January 9, 2020,
  20. Chennai police to expand the use of FaceTagr, a facial recognition technology to curb inter-state robbers, Firstpost (May 01, 2018),
  21. Surat City Police deploys face recognition solutions for investigation, Indian Express (February 24, 2015),
  22. Saurabh Trivedi, Delhi Police to get smarter with e-beat book system, The Hindu (Aug. 26, 2020),
  23. InsightsIAS, 'Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS)', (22 July 2019)
  24. Jain, Anushka. NCRB's National Automated Facial Recognition System. Panoptic, (February 22, 2023),
  25. Jain, Anushka. NCRB's National Automated Facial Recognition System. Panoptic, (February 22, 2023),
  26. Ng, Alfred. How China Uses Facial Recognition to Control Human Behavior. CNET. (August 11, 2020).
  27. K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd) v. Union of India, (2017) 10 SCC 1.
  28. MacCarthy, Mark. Mandating Fairness and Accuracy Assessments for Law Enforcement Facial Recognition Systems. Brookings Institution TechTank (blog), (May 26, 2021),
  29. Kravets, David. Smile, You're in the FBI Face-Recognition Database. Ars Technica. (June 19, 2016).
  30. Jennifer Fraczek / bk, Tireless campaigner, (Dec. 12, 2013), DW,
  31. Garvie, Clare, Alvaro Bedoya, and Jonathan Frankle. Free Speech. The Perpetual Line-Up. (October 18, 2016),
  32. National Crime Records Bureau, Prison Statistics Indi.a 2015 (Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, 2015),
  33. Indian Express, Over 55% of undertrials, Muslim, Dalits or Tribals: NCRB, November 1, 2016,
  34. Amnesty International. "Ban dangerous facial recognition technology that amplifies racist policing." Amnesty International, (January 26, 2021),
  35. K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd) v. Union of India, (2017) 10 SCC 1
  36. Mohd. Arif v Registrar, Supreme Court of India (2014) 9 SCC 737
  37. Internet Freedom Foundation, IFF's Legal Notice to the NCRB on the Revised RFP for the National Automated Facial Recognition System #ProjectPanoptic, (July 15, 2020),
  38. K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd) v. Union of India, (2017) 10 SCC 1
  39. K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd) v. Union of India, (2017) 10 SCC 1
  40. Modern Dental College & Research Centre v. State of Madhya Pradesh, (2016)7 SCC 353
  41. Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019: Looking At Use Of Video Recordings, Facial Recognition Software And Drones By Police, Medianama (Jan. 27, 2020),
  42. Agarwala, Trisha. Laws in India governing Facial Recognition Technology. Legal Service India.
  43. ibid
  44. ibid
  45. Jauhar, Ameen and Jai Vipra. Addressing Constitutional Challenges in Use of Facial Recognition Technology by Indian Law Enforcement Agencies. Jurist, (February 11, 2022).
  46. K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd) v. Union of India, (2017) 10 SCC 1
  47. Bharat Vasani, Ramgovind Kuruppath, and Samiksha Pednekar, Surveillance in the Post-Puttaswamy Era, (Nov. 19, 2019), Mondaq,
  48. Brad Smith, Facial Recognition Technology: The Need for Public Regulation and Corporate Responsibility, Microsoft (Jul. 13, 2018),
  49. ibid
  50. ibid
  51. ibid
  52. ibid
  53. Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019: Looking At Use Of Video Recordings, Facial Recognition Software And Drones By Police, Medianama (Jan. 27, 2020),
  54. The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019
  55. Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019: Looking At Use Of Video Recordings, Facial Recognition Software And Drones By Police, Medianama (Jan. 27, 2020),
  56. Paudel, Smriti. CCTV Surveillance Laws in India and Abroad. IPleaders (blog), (December 19, 2021).
  57. Role of CCTV Cameras: Public, Privacy and Protection, IFSEC Global (Jan. 1, 2021),
  58. Simmons & Simmons, A Call to Action on Facial Recognition Technology (Feb. 12, 2021),
  59. Manasi Sakpal, How to Use Facial Recognition Technology Responsibly and Ethically, Gartner (Dec. 15, 2020),
  60. ibid
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