Public Health Concerns Giving Legitimacy To Use Of Facial Recognition Technology

A survey has found that majority of Indians seem to be amenable to the usage of the controversial technology for various uses including by state authorities despite widespread concerns on facial recognition expressed world over.

Over 3/4th of 1,000 people surveyed said they support the use of facial recognition for law enforcement, the survey by cybersecurity firm Nortonlifelock has said.

Fears about emergence of surveillance states are being expressed because of facial recognition attributes where cameras help establish the identity of a person through data bases and algorithms make subsequent profiling easier.

The survey said 74 per cent of those surveyed are fine with the technology being used in schools and 69 per cent are fine with retailers deploying it, and added that nearly three-fourths believe the technology will improve products and services.

Interestingly, the survey also found out that 58 per cent of the respondents believe that facial recognition will likely be abused or misused in the next year, and almost half of them feel it will do more harm than good.

Public health concerns in the aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic have given usage of such a technology a legitimacy.

Experts have called for withdrawal of any such technology after the pandemic ends.

Over 80 per cent of those polled want businesses and the government to disclose “where or when” they resort to using facial recognition, the survey said.

Indians are more alarmed about their privacy than those in other countries, with selling of sensitive personal information to third parties and the personal information being exposed in a data breach and compromised by cyber criminals being the biggest concern areas, the survey found.

“While the report suggests Indian consumers are more concerned about the misuse of personal information, amongst those of other countries, it also reveals that they are complacent about sharing their data if they get something in return,” the company’s country director Ritesh Chopra said.

Nearly 40 per cent of the respondents said they have experienced identity theft and ten per cent of them reported being impacted last year alone, it said.

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