The Indian Railways, on January 29, announced that it planned to use facial recognition to tackle crime at railway stations. The new facial recognition system is currently being tested in Bengaluru.
A senior railway official told Reuters that the move would turn the railways into a virtual fortress.
"Without a physical, brick and mortar boundary wall, we will be able to make the whole system more secure," the official told the news agency.
Manmad and Bhusawal are the other two stations where the railways would be currently using the new technology, which is powered by artificial intelligence. In terms of hardware, the Indian Railway will install dome, bullet, UHD 4K and pan tilt zoom cameras to get a clear picture of everything that transpires in the railway stations.
However, the decision to implement mass surveillance through facial recognition systems in railway stations raises privacy concerns.
Raman Jit Singh Chima, Asia policy director at digital rights group Access Now, called the move "dangerous". One of the significant concerns raised was the fact that the railway officials didn’t reveal who could access the facial recognition data or if any third party would be able to access this data.