Hyperlink telephone quantity & IMEI to Voter ID for voter verification: Telangana’s IT Secy suggests

Because the Election Fee of India mentioned the potential for blockchain-based distant voting in a collection of webinars on Monday, Telangana’s IT Secretary recommended that facial recognition was a great way to authenticate the id of a voter, and that the gadget on which the popularity will happen could be “pre-registered”. “Say if I’m using my phone to do the voting, let it be pre-registered so that the phone number and the IMEI number can also get tagged to the voter ID. We can also make sure that one phone can be used only by two voters so that we don’t run into the problem of proxy voting,” Ranjan stated.

Ranjan additionally spoke a few facial recognition service which is utilized by pensioners within the state, and stated that this may very well be a mannequin that the Election Fee may take into account emulating. “We have created a solution which uses AI to recognise liveness, deep learning to do image comparison, and big data to do demographic matching. So the pensioner doesn’t need to go anywhere, and using a mobile app, he has to load a picture of himself — a real picture, a selfie,” he stated.

“AI is used to detect whether it is a live selfie or not, and if someone is just sending the image of a picture. Then that selfie is matched with an image which is already available, and we have trained this machine learning. Now we are getting 98% accuracy. 35,000 pensioners have started using this application, which we call Pensioner Live Certificate through Selfie (PLCS), since last year,” Jayesh added. He didn’t specify how the database of facial pictures of those pensioners was created. He additionally stated {that a} comparable face recognition system was getting used within the state to resume driving licenses.

“I see no reason why this authentication and identification of the voter can’t be done using the same liveness detection and matching the photo with the Voter ID card, and of course deep learning tools for image comparison,” Jayesh remarked. Telangana had piloted a face recognition voter authentication mechanism throughout civic polls within the state earlier this 12 months, and it was later discovered that the accuracy fee of those techniques was simply 78%.

Talking in regards to the adoption of blockchain based mostly distant voting, Ranjan stated that it’ll solely take off when there’s sufficient demand for it. “How do you make this demand driven? How do you make sure that all the stakeholders clearly endorse this technology, which is manifold superior compared to the business as usual,” he requested.

Speaking about how the state has operationalised the usage of blockchain, and the way that can be utilized in an election, Ranjan stated: “In Telangana we have introduced a blockchain based solution where every chit transactions now has to be stored on a ledger. If you look at the voting scenario, it’s like saying every vote will be stored on a ledger, and of course you write a smart contract, which must have the timestamp of the time at which the vote is cast. Then you have a hash algorithm which gives you the present hash, the previous hash, and everything is stored on a ledger, so even if someone wants to hack, he will only be able to hack that particular block”.

“Let us work in parallel tracks; one track could be to perfect the technologies. Let’s find the best encryption tools, the best machine learning tools. Let’s make accuracy rates of facial recognition as close to 100%…I’m absolutely willing to join forces with Santosh [commissioner of Tamil Nadu e-Governance agency], maybe pool in a few other state governments, get the blessings of the Election Commission to embark on this,” he added.


Learn: EC will create a platform for Aadhaar-Voter ID linkage: Senior Election Fee official


‘Let us start small’

Ranjan additionally recommended that India can maybe experiment with blockchain based mostly voting in non-statutory elections. “Let us start small. There are a lot of non-statutory elections also, such as in small societies, neighbourhoods, sports associations, cultural associations, where we can easily use our authority, our position, our influence to make them try this solution. Even if they don’t have faith on it, let them use this as an alternate just to see whether it works well for them or not. Once we have enough use case, then governments can try it out in smaller statutory elections, and then hopefully one day we can scale it up to national elections as well,” Ranjan recommended.

Equally, India’s principal scientific advisor, Okay. Vijay Raghavan, stated recommended that the Election Fee may attempt holding mock voting on blockchain based mostly techniques, parallel to voting by EVMs with a purpose to “stress test” the system. “you can have a dual system where people take part in EVM votes, but also take part on mock buttons for blockchain voting to make sure that the voting can be done in a secured manner for stress testing. I see no inherent problem [in blockchain based voting]. Financial transactions of much more sensitive nature in terms of volume are bing done on the same technology. The most vulnerable are the initial steps to make sure that a voter is alone while voting, and that they are not under any pressure. Otherwise, it can work very well,” he stated.

Additionally learn: As Election Fee discusses blockchain-based distant voting, specialists elevate issues over voter privateness

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