Digi Yatra is a digital initiative by the Indian government aimed at airports to facilitate paperless and seamless travel using facial recognition technology. Passengers can download the Digi Yatra app, register, and then use electronic gates for entry by scanning their faces and boarding passes.
Advantages of Digi Yatra:
1. Efficient Travel: Streamlines airport processes for faster, smoother travel.
2. Paperless Transactions: Eliminates the need for physical boarding passes.
3. Security Enhancement: Offers potentially more accurate security checks.
4. Operational Efficiency: Could reduce queues and improve airport management.
Concerns and Issues:
1. Privacy Infringement: Reports of biometric data being collected without informed consent.
2. Data Security: Concerns over the handling and protection of personal data, heightened by past data breaches.
3. Transparency in Consent: Unclear consent mechanisms, leading to non-consensual enrollments.
4. Awareness and Communication: Inadequate information provided to passengers regarding the program.
5. Technology Reliability: Potential errors or biases in the facial recognition system.
Travelers like Tavish Pattanayak reported non-consensual data collection.
Conflicting statements from CISF and airport authorities regarding the role of staff in this process.
Airport staff are now instructed to better educate passengers and seek explicit consent.
The Digi Yatra Foundation has increased enrollment efforts for a smoother travel experience, emphasizing the importance of clear communication and data privacy.
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