Missing children in India has reached epidemic levels with approximately 242,938 children going missing between 2012-2017. To address this crisis, The Delhi High Court has asked the city police to utilize a facial recognition software developed by a foreign company on a trial basis to help trace and rescue missing children, as the government has been unable to immediately develop an adequate a software with these capabilities.
The government stated the Centre for Development of Advanced Computer (CDAC) is developing an indigenous software in West Bengal, but there has been no time frame provided for when the software will be developed.
“Waiting for the perfect software to be developed with an open-ended timeline does not serve the purpose of addressing the issue of missing children on an urgent basis,” said the Court, according to The Hindu.
The software in question is being donated by Vision Box, a digital identity management solutions company headquartered in Lisbon, Portugal, best known for its border control biometrics deployments. The company will provided the software for one year, with the instructions it is only to be used to track down missing children.
There has been no indication whether or not the software to find the missing children will have access to the Aahaar database, the country’s national biometric ID system which could be useful to confirm the identity of a child once they are located and in physical custody.
February 7, 2018 – Susan Stover