Government Removes 64 Lakh False Mobile Connections With The Help Of Facial Recognition
The Indian government has canceled more than 64 lakh, or 6.4 million, "fraudulent" phone connections in the previous six months after using facial recognition technology to identify them, according to a report by Moneycontrol.
The Department of Telecommunications' (DoT) Centre of Development of Telematics (C-DoT) developed the Artificial Intelligence and Facial Recognition powered Solution for Telecom SIM Subscriber Verification, or ASTR, which recognizes when a single person uses their photo to obtain SIM cards more than the allowed amount of times.
A person with an Aadhar card is only allowed to have nine SIM cards, per DoT regulations. But according to C-DoT's ASTR, there have been instances where a single person has obtained phone connections thousands of times, not merely hundreds of times.
During COVID-19, the use of facial recognition as a touchless replacement for numerous processes in governance and business entities increased dramatically.
However, in the absence of appropriate data protection standards, its usage—which involves processing enormous databases—has continued since then. The Digital Personal Data Protection Act of India was enacted in August 2023 but has not yet been put into effect.
In order to determine whether an individual has obtained a connection for a longer period of time than allowed, the facial recognition algorithm compares the individual's facial features to those in the phone registration database.
When C-DoT, via ASTR, finds these kinds of incidents, it notifies the relevant telecom operator.
Following that, these individuals receive warnings and are requested to provide KYC documentation. And the link is cut off after 60 days if authorities do not get the right answer.