Stop Draconian Misuse of Technology
Friday, March 13, 2020
The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly condemns the claim of the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, made during the debate in Parliament on the communal violence in Delhi that the police and the government are using face recognition technology for identifying the miscreants responsible for the violence.
There is no way that the technology can precisely link the protestors with violation of law. It has been also further revealed that there are clear video footages to suggest that the police was involved in breaking down CCTV cameras, let alone facilitating the rioting mobs themselves, implying that the footage itself used as evidence for processing could very well be chosen in a partisan manner.
What is more surprising is the fact that the Delhi police and the Ministry of Women and Child Development admitted before the Delhi High Court that the system had an accuracy rate of 2 per cent in 2018 which subsequently dropped to a meagre 1 per cent in 2019 and could not even make a gender distinction.
It is clear that there is no legal framework, or, any judicial order to back the deployment of such technology for the purpose indicated by the Home Minister. The Polit Bureau wants to firmly point out that such indiscriminate use of this technology is an infringement on privacy rights as well as the freedom of protest.
The Polit Bureau strongly rejects the suggestion of the Home Minister that this technology does not make distinction between caste, creed and religious identity of miscreants which, for the stated reasons, will no doubt be draconian and needs to be thoroughly rejected.