The Telangana State Election Commission (TSEC) has announced that a facial recognition app will be used on a pilot basis at 10 polling stations in the Kompally Municipality in the upcoming civic elections in the state.
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The department claimed that impersonation remains an issue during polls and a facial recognition system will bring objectivity to voter verification work. It further claimed that authenticating voters by using technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and deep learning, that leave behind a digital trail, can help in reducing impersonation cases significantly. The department would use a facial recognition system already being used by the Telangana State Technology Services (TSTS) for validating the identity of pensioners.
How the face recognition infrastructure would work
Explaining how the system will work, M. Ashok Kumar, TSEC Secretary, said that an additional polling officer will verify the ID of a voter and then take their picture and upload it to the servers of Telangana State Technology Services, using a Face Recognition app.
The photograph will then be “photo matched” using a deep learning based photo comparison app. Prior to that, a voter’s Electors Photo Identity Card, along with something called an asynchronous ID would be uploaded to the EPIC system at each polling booth.
The department said that matched IDs would be deemed as authorised voters and digital logs would be available real time and stored. The entire process would take anywhere between 10-30 seconds, and in case of unclear cases which it claimed would be of a small percentage voters can be verified manually.
The commission further claimed that the entire transmission process would be properly encrypted and IDs would be anonymised. In what it called a information sanitisation this is a process of either encrypting or removing personally identifiable information from the data.