New Delhi: Responding to the debate on Delhi violence, Union home minister Amit Shah informed the Lok Sabha on Wednesday that the government has fed details of voter identity cards and driving licences of people into software to identify those involved in the Delhi violence. Facial recognition technology has so far identified 1,100 people, including 300 from Uttar Pradesh, the minister informed the House. Also Read - After Lok Sabha, Now Rajya Sabha to Hold Discussion on Delhi Violence Today

According to several reports, the Delhi Police had acquired the software in 2017 to track missing children and persons. It was made by Delhi-based Innefu Labs. The minister’s reply in Parliament is being seen as the first of its kind of admission coming from the authority which implies that the government is using individual data for other reasons. Also Read - Delhi Violence: 'Calling it Communal Violence a Joke, It Was a Pogrom,' Says Asaduddin Owaisi in Lok Sabha

How does the software work? Also Read - No One Involved in Delhi Violence Will be Spared, Delhi Police Will Probe Matter: Amit Shah in Lok Sabha

Face recognition is a biometric solution which can recognise a human face without any physical contact required. The solution runs through algorithms that match the facial nodes of a person to the images saved in the database.

As described in the website of Innefu Labs, “face recognition identifies the unique features of the human face and them makes a comparison based on the existing database of photographs. Sensors detect and identify face shapes by the colour of the iris, nose shape, and so on. Identifying the human face includes concentrating on certain unique features, such as the jaw, cheekbones, face shape and so on. Once the image in the database matches with the face of the person concerned, the face is verified.”

The admission of facial recognition software being used has created a furore on social media platforms over whether social medial photos are being compromised. The software can read images from anywhere. The images are provided by the user.

“It is a software, so it does not differentiate on the basis of religion,” the Union minister said in Parliament.