HYDERABAD: After the State government’s decision to implement facial recognition technology (FRT) on a pilot basis during the local bodies election, it has come to the fore that the average accuracy rate of the FRT was at 78 per cent. The information was provided by the State government in response to a RTI query filed by the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF).
IFF found that the 78 per cent accuracy rate was “not satisfactory”. “This is because, exclusion, as a result of non-verification, would lead to a loss of rights. In this case, the right to vote,” the IFF said. However, it is important to note that during the local bodies election, the TS Election Commission had categorically laid down that those excluded in the FRT would not be stripped off voting rights.
The reason behind the “unsatisfactory” accuracy rate was due to lack of light at certain polling stations and network issues. “Polling booth 13, 16 has a dark room due to lack of tubelights. Polling booth 22 has network issues. Also some of the photos in the PIC are very old or improperly captured which have reduced accuracy in percentage,” the RTI reply said.
While responding to a query over the legality of the usage of facial recognition, the SEC said that Article 243 ZA of the Constitution authorises it to conduct the same. However, the IFF said, “Article 243 ZA of the Constitution states that the SEC is in charge of all matters related to the conduct of elections to ULBs. This, however, is not a sufficient basis for FRT use for voter verification.”