Government endorses the use of facial recognition for “touchless” vaccination process

Among several other controversies that have surrounded the Government’s COVID-19 vaccine management policies, recent news about the Government deploying facial recognition facilities at vaccination centres for the purposes of authentication has emerged as a cause of worry. We filed an RTI application with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on May 18, 2021 to understand more about the process and to verify the authenticity of such reports. In their reply to our RTI application dated June 24, 2021 the Ministry confirmed the use of facial recognition for verification of beneficiaries of the COVID-19 vaccines but failed to provide any guidelines or SOP that clearly delineates the technical and implementation details of facial recognition technology (FRT) for COVID-19 vaccine verification.

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