Face Recognition Current Affairs - 2020

Police Use of Facial Recognition banned by Amazon

On June 11, 2020, the E-Commerce giant Amazon banned the use of its software “Rekognition” by the police. The software used to quickly compare a picture with the police data bases that holds hundreds of 1000s of photos.

Why the ban?

The facial recognition technology has been criticized over some time. This is mainly because, most of the algorithms of the Rekognition software are more likely to wrongly identify the faces of black people than those of white people.


The Amazon Rekognition software was launched in 2016. It was sold and used by a number of US government agencies.

What is the controversy?

The Gender Identification technology of Rekognition software identifies faces as only male and female. There is no category for nonbinary gender. According to MIT researchers, the errors in the face recognition system is more. Though it is reducing year after year, the performance of the software on female faces were less accurate than that of male faces.

GOI: World’s largest Face Recognition system in India to track criminals

GoI has asked the IT companies across the world to send proposals to NCRB (National Crime Record Bureau) to install world’s largest facial recognition system. The winner of the bids will create National Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS). The step is an effort towards information gathering, police force modernization, criminal identification and verification.

About AFRS

The System will match images from India’s CCTV camera network. The network will include data from various government agencies. This will help to create a robust system to identify criminals, missing chinldre, unidentified dead bodies, etc. With NCRB’s recent report on India’s crimes, the system will help to change the current scenario. The crimes have increased by 3.6% in 2017 as compared to 2015.


There are possibilities for misuse of the technology. The system should have a strong security wall to protect the data collected. Also there should be a strong regulatory framework for facial recognition as it is linked to prople’s right to privacy. There is no such framework in India to regulate the storage of facial recognition data.