Increased Digitalisation Resulted in Increased Surveillance

Cameras pointing towards two women

The citizen of one of the largest economies in the world and the largest democracy is facing a unique challenge. India has grabbed the third position in terms of surveillance over its citizen just behind China and Russia. The USA is also not far behind at the 7th position.

The countries on the top 10 list exclude the European countries due to the presence of a stringent data protection law in the European Union called the GDPR. However, it has been witnessed that most of the countries in the EU fail to implement it uniformly in their country resulting in some of the other forms of data privacy violation.

In India’s case, the rapid development of the digital economy has contributed to the creation of one of the largest databases of digital data of the citizen. The Indian government understood the fact that in order to compete with the other developed nations, the country needs to go digital and made the internet a common man’s superpower.

The recent efforts made by the Indian government have made the common people and the local businesses go digital rapidly. Starting from the online cash payments to the online tax return filings and many more, the use of digital technologies have multiplied manifolds in the nation.

The Aadhaar identification system helps the citizen get a unique identification number (UIN). The system houses the largest biometric database of over 1.2 billion people. The system has made headlines in the past for various data breaches. Aadhaar database also contains information such as purchases, bank accounts, and insurance. In a world where the users are already fed up with the data breaches by the most popular tech companies such as Facebook, Apple and Google, the additional data breaches reports from the government are one more headache to deal with.

According to the Economic Times, the tender submission date to procure the National Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS) just 20 days away. Soon, India will install the world’s largest facial recognition system. The report also mentioned that the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), under Home Ministry, asked for the bids on July 8 and the winner of the same will be announced on November 8.

Although the motive behind the technology has been claimed to be beneficial for the benefit of the society in terms of crime-solving and other security measures, the data can be certainly misused for having better control over the citizen in general.

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