The Delhi police is using cameras equipped with facial recognition software to secure the Red Fort, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hoist the national flag on the 74th Independence Day.
This is being done to screen suspects around the celebration area matching their faces with the available database of terrorists and criminals with the security agencies. However, with the Covid-19 guidelines with almost all attendees using face masks, the effectiveness of the face recognition software might be put to test.
The position of the facemask on the face would cover prominent features like jaw line, lips, cheeks and the nose, making the task more difficult for the facial recognition software.
"The face recognition software gives a near approximate idea about a suspect in the available database. This helps in segregating the suspect from a large gathering of people. However, with facemasks on, the system may not be as precise as it should be," said a senior Police officer.
Face recognition works with traditional algorithms by identifying facial features by extracting features from the image of the face. To extract facial features, an algorithm may analyse the size and shape of the eyes, the structure of the nose, and its relative position with the eyes. It may also analyse the jaw and the cheekbones.
Although the accuracy of facial recognition system as a biometric technology is lower than iris recognition and fingerprint recognition, it is widely adopted due to its contactless and non-invasive process.
It might turn out to be a catch-22 situation for the security agencies when the attendees with facial masks would gather at the entry gates of the historic monument.
Delhi Police had procured the facial recognition system under the smart-city initiative. The system raises an alert if a person picked up on CCTV camera match with those available in the database.
This year because of the Covid-19 guidelines and extended precautions only 20 per cent VVIPs or other participants will be able to witness the live speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi compared to previous years.
Apart from face recognition cameras, multilayer security, anti-aircraft guns, light machine guns and snipers have been deployed at key points in view of intelligence inputs.
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