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Photo: EyeEm / Sudarshan Jha

India: Vaccine Exclusion Fears Over Digital ID, Face Recognition

– Aljazeera

  • News
  • Posted by Good ID team (Good ID)
  • 23 April 2021

People in India without a national digital ID are in danger of missing out on the COVID-19 vaccine

In the state of Jharkhand, the Indian government is piloting facial recognition to verify people’s identities in the vaccine registration process, with plans to widen the scheme across the entire country. The system utilizes India’s national ID scheme Aadhaar, which has faced high levels of criticism from human rights advocates for excluding many people - particularly groups who are already marginalized such as homeless and transgender people.

“‘Insisting on Aadhaar to register is very problematic as it is very exclusionary – and using Aadhaar-based facial recognition for authentication compounds the problem, as it is riddled with inaccuracies,’ Jain said.”

Anushka Jain, from the Internet Freedom Foundation, explains how facial recognition’s potential to misidentify people can be highly dangerous in this instance, as it could prevent them from receiving the vaccine.

In addition, technology experts have raised concerns about the privacy and safety of the data, and its potential use for profiling and surveillance, in the absence of legal protections

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