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Madhya Pradesh likely to introduce DigiPass, a DigiYatra-like system for Government Offices

In a significant development, the government of Madhya Pradesh is planning to implement a program similar to the DigiYatra program, which will be called the DigiPass.

This idea is that just like DigiYatra made accessing airports across the country and checking in a lot easier, the DigiPass program should be able to optimize administrative procedures and enhance overall efficiency within government ministries and offices.

Abhijeet Agrawal, the Managing Director of the Madhya Pradesh State Electronics Development Corporation, operating under the Department of Science & Technology, Government of Madhya Pradesh, made this announcement during the AWS Public Sector Symposium in New Delhi.

While DigiYatra has already made remarkable improvements to the passenger experience in airports, DigiPass has the potential to revolutionize government operations and how the general public interacts with an establishment. It promises to introduce a streamlined and paperless workflow, significantly enhancing efficiency in these administrative processes.

The Airport Authority of India and the Ministry of Civil Aviation are in the process of extending the DigiYatra paperless boarding system to an additional six airports throughout India.

The DigiYatra is a contactless facial recognition technology already in operation at airports in Delhi, Varanasi, and Bengaluru and is set to streamline the entire airport experience across the country. It accelerates the journey from the entrance to the boarding gate, offering passengers a time-saving and efficient process.

The question of customer privacy in the context of DigiYatra is a complex and concerning issue. Facial recognition technology in airports raises uncertainties regarding the potential compromise of personal data, and there isn’t a straightforward answer to these concerns.

Privacy advocates express legitimate fears that DigiYatra may infringe upon the fundamental right to privacy. The system relies on Facial Recognition Technology (FRT), which inherently requires data for personal identification. Once an individual’s facial features are captured in the design, it becomes unclear who might access this data. While it’s claimed that collected data will be deleted within 24 hours after a passenger’s departure, there’s skepticism about whether this deletion is adequately enforced.

It wouldn’t be surprising if the gathered data is sold or utilized for other purposes without the data owner’s consent. Data holds significant value in the market, and a data breach or unauthorized sale can have severe consequences.

India’s track record with data security has been far from exemplary, with numerous significant data breaches involving COVID-19 certificates and banking details in recent years, for which no one has been held accountable.

Although DigiYatra holds promise, the risks for users are substantial. Notably, India currently needs an active data protection law.

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