Picture for representation
Picture for representation

Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has given a nod for the installation of Artificial Intelligence-enabled smart cameras at places prone to stalking and eve-teasing of girls and women for their safety.

The AI-enabled cameras will click pictures of victims and send an alert to the nearest police station without anyone knowing about it to catch the stalkers in a jiffy to control growing crime against the women.

The Lucknow Police Commissioner DK Thakur disclosed this during a workshop on “Safe City” at Lucknow University. Thakur said that the Lucknow Police have already identified as many as 200 hotspots frequented by girls in the city. These are places from where the majority of stalking and eve-teasing cases were reported in the last one year, he added.

The project will be launched first in the state capital Lucknow, which is the only city in Uttar Pradesh selected by the Centre to be developed as the “Safe City for Women”. Once it is successful, the same can be replicated in other cities of the state, he added.

Initially, the Police Commissioner said, they were selecting five most crowded spots where these AI-enabled cameras will be installed for the safety of women. Giving details of the functioning of the AI-enabled smart camera, Thakur said that it captures the changing expressions of the women in distress and sends an alert to the nearest police station to act immediately without waiting for women to make calls to Dial 100 or women hotline 112. It saves the time and will make police act in real-time catching the eve-teasers.

In fact, the project was started during the tenure of the former DGP OP Singh. The Israel-based Pegasus was hired to develop software and AI-enabled smart cameras. Huge data was collected and the software and smart cameras were used during violent anti-government protests in Lucknow to nab trouble-makers. But after the WhatsApp snooping scandal, where the finger was pointed at the Israeli firm, a Gurgaon-based software firm was hired to develop indigenous software and equipments.

Cyber experts, however, feel that the project is good but using data of common people will incur wrath from the Supreme Court as it violates fundamental rights to privacy under Article 21.

“The government has shown its displeasure over new WhatsApp privacy laws and asked them to withdraw. We have doubts that the government will allow use of data of commoners in this case also,” reacted a cyber crime expert, on condition of anonymity.

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