What has happened?
- Union Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS) on Wednesday (August 17), At the two-day National Securities Strategies (NSS) Conference 2022 held in New Delhi.
- According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, NAFIS, which was developed by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB),
- Would help in the quick and easy disposal of cases with the help of a centralised fingerprint database.
- In April this year, Madhya Pradesh became the first state in the country to identify a deceased person through NAFIS.
What is NAFIS?
- Conceptualized and managed by the NCRB at the Central Fingerprint Bureau (CFPB) in New Delhi,
- The National Automated Fingerprints Identification System (NAFIS) project is a country-wide searchable database of crime- and criminal-related fingerprints.
- The web-based application functions as a central information repository by consolidating fingerprint data from all states and Union Territories.
- According to a 2020 report by the NCRB, it enables law enforcement agencies to upload, trace, and retrieve data from the database in real time on a 24×7 basis.
- NAFIS assigns a unique 10-digit National Fingerprint Number (NFN) to each person arrested for a crime.
- This unique ID will be used for the person’s lifetime, and different crimes registered under different FIRs will be linked to the same NFN.
- The ID’s first two digits will be that of the state code in which the person arrested for a crime is registered, followed by a sequence number.
- By automating the collection, storage, and matching of fingerprints, along with digitizing the records of fingerprint data,
- NAFIS will provide the much-needed unique identifier for every arrested person in the CCTNS (Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems) database as both are connected at the backend.
Is this 1st time such project is being attempted?
- Upon the recommendations of the National Police Commission in 1986, the Central Fingerprint Bureau first began to automate the fingerprint database,
- By digitizing the existing manual records through India’s first Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFI) in 1992, called Fingerprint Analysis & Criminal Tracing System (FACTS 1.0).
- The latest iteration, FACTS 5.0, which was upgraded in 2007, was considered to have “outlived its shelf life”,
- According to a 2018 report by the NCRB and thus needed to be replaced by NAFIS.
- Facial recognition is an algorithm-based technology which creates a digital map of the face by identifying and mapping an individual’s facial features, which it then matches against the database to which it has access.
- Right to Information (RTI) responses received by the Internet Freedom Foundation, a New-Delhi based digital rights organisation,
- Reveal that the Delhi Police treats matches of above 80% similarity generated by its facial recognition technology (FRT) system as positive results.
So what’s the issue?
- India has seen the rapid deployment of FRT in recent years, both by the Union and State governments, without putting in place any law to regulate their use.
- The use of FRT presents two issues: issues related to misidentification due to inaccuracy of the technology and issues related to mass surveillance due to misuse of the technology.
Q) World’s first Fingerprint Bureau was established in 1897 in which country?