Internet Shutdown Disrupts Biometric Attendance Systems in Kashmir

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Biometrics News - Internet Shutdown Disrupts Biometric Attendance Systems in Kashmir

The ongoing internet shutdown in Kashmir has limited the effectiveness of biometric attendance tracking programs for government and call center employees in the region. India cut off the area’s access to the internet on August 5th, isolating the region in the midst of a legislative battle in which India revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s independent constitution.

Without the internet, employees have been forced to resort to more traditional methods of attendance monitoring, marking their names on a piece of paper or a registry when they get to work. Doing so would seem like a necessity without the internet, but many employees have reported that their employers have not been terribly happy with the results.  

“I am not sure whether our management will accept this or not as most of the times they doubt about the authenticity of this system,” said call center representative Faheem Malik, speaking to the Deccan Herald. He indicated that workloads have doubled due to the uncertainty.

It’s unclear how much of an effect the shutdown has had on day-to-day business operations, or how the situation in Kashmir is going to be resolved. However, it does highlight some of the limits of the connected workplace. Many organizations that have adopted biometric attendance or registration systems may be poorly prepared for a situation in which they no longer have access to those systems, which could pose a problem to many organizations in the future.

The government of Jammu and Kashmir made biometric time tracking mandatory in June of 2018, largely in an effort to improve employee attendance. The latest fallout would seem to suggest that people had little trouble adjusting to the new system.

In the meantime, the state of India is moving forward with plans for a massive facial recognition surveillance system.

Source: Deccan Herald

September 30, 2019 – by Eric Weiss