Face Recognition App To Be Used In Telangana Municipal Polls 2020
In a first-of-its-kind move, the Telangana State Election Commission is all set to use a facial recognition app to counter impersonation by voters in the upcoming municipal polls, on a pilot basis, in 10 selected polling stations.
The initiative will be implemented in Kompally Municipality of Medchal Malkajgiri district, an official circular released by the Commission said.
120 municipalities and nine municipal corporations will go for polls on January 22 with the results to be declared on January 25 while the Karimnagar Municipal Corporation will go for polls on January 25 and results will be declared on January 27.
On the day the polls are to be conducted, the first polling officer is tasked with the identification of electors. Since the identity of the voters is verified manually, there is a lack of trail for future scrutiny, also, the polling officer is responsible to perform several transactions which could lead to a lapse while looking at the face of the voter and compare it with the ID Card/photo in the electoral rolls, leading to impersonation, which is still rampant during the polls, stated the circular.
An additional polling officer, who will be equipped with the smartphone, will first verify the identity proof of the voters and then take photographs and upload them to the server using face recognition app installed in the phone provided to him so as to compare it with photographs of the orders of the respective polling station.
The app displays results of the verification based on the match established with any one of the voters with an appropriate message.
The photographs and the data related to it will be erased from the memory of the mobile phone used in the polling station and also the server of TSTS (Telangana State Technology Services).
The polling process will end with either encrypting or removing "personally identifiable information from data sets" to ensure the privacy of the voters is maintained. The input files will be deleted immediately on the completion of the task.
The incorporation of facial recognition technology will ease the process and aid the election conducting body to tackle the issue of impersonation.
However, it is interesting to note that a negative result would not deprive the voter form exercising his or her voting rights.