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Police In Gujarat To Use Controversial Clearview AI Facial Recognition System

Police In Gujarat To Use Controversial Clearview AI Facial Recognition System

Vadodara City Police is using Clearview AI's facial recognition technology

Hackers recently stole Clearview AI's database of identified faces

Poloce in Telangana, UP and Delhi are also using facial recognition technology

In a bid to ramp up surveillance in the city, Vadodara city police department in Gujarat is planning to install a system of artificial intelligence-based facial recognition cameras at public places such as railway stations, markets, bus depots, and parks.

These CCTVs will flash a message to authorities as soon as an offender is recognised by facial recognition cameras. As of now, the department is looking to install the facial recognition software in CCTVs installed at select locations only.

Joint commissioner of Vadodara City Police KG Bhati told Medianama that the department will use this technology to track offenders. While police in the Gujarat city has already conducted the pilot project using these facial recognition cameras last year, the department is yet to start using it on an operational level.

“The plan to use the service is currently under process, but the department is keen on it,” Bhati added.

For using these services, Vadodara has tied-up with Clearview AI, a company which scapes image of users from public sources such as social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, among others. Other city and state police departments are also using Clearview AI software, which runs a scan to match it with its existing law enforcement database, which is said to have 3 Bn images. In the US, law enforcement agencies are using the same software to investigate crime and security.

Clearview AI Data Stolen

While Clearview AI is used around the world for surveillance, the company’s database recently came under attack by hackers. The hackers reportedly stole Clearview AI’s entire client database which might also include Vadodara police. In a blog, Clearview AI had said that it provides its facial data search engine to law enforcement agencies and select security professionals.

Besides Clearview AI, other companies which are providing facial recognition technology to law enforcement agencies in India include TSCOP, Staqu, FaceTagr, Innefu, among others. Similar to Vadodara police in Gujarat, Telangana police have used TSCOP in the past, Tamil Nadu Police has been working with FaceTagr to surveil on citizens.

Delhi Police has been using facial recognition technology of Innefu which the department has also used to identity protestors protesting against new controversial citizenship rules. On the other hand, UP police roped in Staqu for surveillance of prisoners and other inmates.