Technology is a double-edged sword. For instance, a facial recognition system could potentially be used to create a dystopian society where few are truly free. Or, it could be utilized to find missing children. While the former is a possibility, we are grateful to report that it is the latter that recently occurred.
Within a four-day span, nearly 3,000 missing children were located thanks to the facial recognition system (FRS) software. The Delhi Police employed the tech’s help on a trial basis to track down missing children. To say it exceeded their expectations is an understatement.
NDTV reports that the identifies of the 3,000 missing children have been established. Furthermore, efforts are underway to help them reunite with their families. According to the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), the Delhi Police used the FRS on 45,000 children living in different children’s homes. Of that number, 2,930 were recognized between April 6 and April 10.
The technology makes use of a massive database of photographs and profiles to match the facial features of any child declared to be a “missing person.” The city police feel confident that if given free use of the tech, they could track down thousands of more children and reunite them with their families.
While the idea of facial recognition technology in the hands of the government is concerning, one cannot deny the positive repercussions of using it for such a purpose. Because of this, the children’s rights organization Bachpan Bachao Andolan is working on a proposal that will allow the Delhi police department to take advantage of the software free of charge.
The police department also has the support fo the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). Said Yashwant Jain, a member of the organization: “If such a type of software helps trace missing children and reunite them with their families, nothing can be better than this.”
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