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Hyderabad: no place to hide from facial recognition technology

Cameras are everywhere in Indian cities. We should be more worried about being watched.

Hyderabad: no place to hide from facial recognition technology

Cameras are everywhere in Indian cities. We should be more worried about being watched.

Hyderabad: no place to hide from facial recognition technology

Cameras are everywhere in Indian cities. We should be more worried about being watched.

Hyderabad: no place to hide from facial recognition technology

Cameras are everywhere in Indian cities. We should be more worried about being watched.

Hyderabad is “on the brink of becoming a total surveillance city”, according to a new report by Amnesty International.

Is the government watching you when you’re on the way to the shops? We go about our daily lives assuming that we’re free from the prying eyes of others, and that unless we’re doing something wrong the police and authorities will simply leave us alone.

But that’s not always true. Increasingly, Indian cities are dotted with surveillance cameras. You probably don’t notice them, but they’re there — and in some cities, such as Hyderabad, they’re everywhere.

These cameras don’t just record blurred videos. They’re equipped with advanced facial recognition technology, and Hyderabad is now constructing a “Command and Control Centre” (CCC) to connect the surveillance infrastructure throughout the city and state. This means that data from over 600,000 cameras can be processed and integrated, making it possible to track the movements of specific individuals.

According to Matt Mahmoudi, Amnesty International’s AI and Big Data researcher, this puts human rights at risk.

“Hyderabad is on the brink of becoming a total surveillance city,” he said. “It is almost impossible to walk down the street without risking exposure to facial recognition.”

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