Much to the chagrin of privacy advocates around the world, facial recognition systems are being installed everywhere, such as airports. We’ve seen them deployed in countries like the US and Singapore, and now it looks like India wants them installed as well. According to the Indian government, this move is done to decongest its airports.


According to the Indian ministry secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey, “Security will benefit from the ability of the technology to verify the passenger at every checkpoint in a non-intrusive way.” This facial recognition system is expected to begin rolling out next year, although it seems that for domestic passengers, there will be a choice where they can opt to go through the biometric system, or use the normal method which could potentially take a longer time.

However like we said, facial recognition has not sat well with privacy advocates and India’s proposal is no different. Devesh Agarwal, editor of the Bangalore Aviation website, told AFP that there are concerns about whether such a system would have good enough privacy safeguards in place. “It’s a welcome move, but how will the data be stored and what happens to citizens’ data… if private entities start collecting biometric details?” So suppose it remains to be seen, although we can imagine the nightmare it would create should such details be leaked or stolen by hackers.

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