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Accepted Paper:

Taking Justice at Face Value: Artificial Face Recognition Technology, CCTV and Criminality in the Indian Capital City  
Madhavi Shukla (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Paper short abstract:

Digital images of the Artificial Facial Recognition Technology enabled CCTVs have rapidly emerged as a popular policing technique in New Delhi since 2019. This paper looks at the legal ‘ways of seeing’ during the creation of image for a ‘good’ citizen and how it constitutes ‘law by other means.’

Paper long abstract:

With 1862.6 CCTVs per mile, New Delhi is the site of greatest government surveillance project internationally, which was initiated in 2019 by its Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal to help in fighting crime. During the same year, on 28th June 2019, a tender for acquiring ‘Automated Facial Recognition Technology System’ (FRT) was floated on behalf of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) “for “criminal identification, verification and its dissemination among various police organisations and units across the country.”” The CCTVs equipped with Artificial Face Recognition Technology (AFRT) thus, bring to the fore the use of Artificial Technology as a means of delivering justice in country in general and New Delhi in particular. Situated within this context, the present paper attempts to critique such uncritical use of new technology systems as a means of mapping criminality. It ‘looks’ into how a gaze of camera categorically renders the body of citizen-subject as criminal in a digital database, as visual persuasion furbishes a process of governance that the state deems as just and good. In doing so, it shall unpack as to how new policing techniques are being mobilized in creation of a biometric state raising implications for privacy issues. This rise of the AI-enabled ethnographic state in this manner reveals how the ocular-centric capital of the CCTVs pivots on the promise of an efficient digital future, imaging ‘ways to see’, positing itself as currency of modern state rule, and ‘law by other means’.

Panel P13a
Towards an anthropology of future images: ethics, politics, and creativity
  Session 1 Friday 10 June, 2022, -