Delhi Police using Facial Recognition Software to Identify Lost Children

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In a new experimental trial of facial recognition Software (FRS) by New Delhi police, thousands of children who vanished in the streets, alleyways and slums of India has been identified within only a few days.

Thousands of children get lost across the world every year. It takes months or even years to identify them. A lot of children are at the orphanages who somehow got separated from their families and can’t go back as they do not know about their home. In only four days from April 6 to 10, the facial recognition software (FRS) made around 3,000 matches and reportedly police is now working on uniting these lost children with their families.

Efforts by organisations to identify lost children

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Bachpan Bachao Andolan- a child welfare group intervened in securing an order from the Delhi High Court to make TrackChild (the national Indian database of missing children) available to police. The Delhi police then used their FRS system to analyse thousands of images.

Manually it takes hours to analyse only a bunch of pictures while facial recognition technology contributed to speeding things up. This is one of the best examples where the government used an emerging technology to heal a vast and devastating social problem of India. This task of identifying so many children in such a less amount of time was nowhere possible without the assistance of FRS algorithms.

Following the success of this trial, now the suggestions have been made to make this TackChild record available to other state police forces too. In fact, they are thinking about overhauling TrackChild so that FRS can be run on its image databases internally.

For now, it is really early to say that this technology can help in solving the predicament of India’s vanishing children as a lot of complications are involved in the process. Sometimes the reasons behind the disappearances can be complex, violent and ugly but of course, some children just get lost in a simple old-fashioned way through bad circumstances.

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