In 2018, the home ministry had announced the Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS) project to help the law enforcement agencies to identify criminals, missing people and unidentified bodies in a scientific and speedy manner. The AFRS, under the aegis of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), is a component of Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), a national database of crimes and criminals. The software would be used only in respect of such persons who figured in the CCTNS data base—accused persons, prisoners, missing persons and unidentified found persons including children, and unidentified dead persons and is not going to be used on any other database.
Just as fingerprint matching is used in investigation by the police by matching fingerprint found in crime scene with the fingerprint database, the AFRS will add another information layer to investigation by allowing matching photograph of suspect or missing person with the photo database of CCTNS.
What AFRS does is detect and extract the faces out of an image. Every face is then converted to a vector of 512 values. Then, the software calculates the shortest distance between two vectors in a chosen database, and the closest matches are typically the accurate recognition of a face.