Artificial Intelligence and Facial Recognition powered Solution for Telecom SIM Subscriber Verification (ASTR)

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has developed a groundbreaking artificial intelligence-based facial recognition tool known as Artificial Intelligence and Facial Recognition powered Solution for Telecom SIM Subscriber Verification (ASTR). This innovative technology aims to detect and prevent fraudulent mobile connections, significantly reducing cyber fraud.

Conceptualization and Purpose

Between April 2021 and July 2021, the DoT conceived and designed the ASTR project. The primary purpose of ASTR is to identify potential fraudulent connections within telecom operator databases, utilizing its advanced facial recognition capabilities. By leveraging convolutional neural network (CNN) models, ASTR encodes human faces captured in subscribers’ images, enabling accurate matching and verification.

Pilot Project in Haryana’s Mewat Region

To evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of ASTR, a pilot project was launched in Haryana’s Mewat region. This strategic testing ground allowed the DoT to assess ASTR’s performance in detecting fraudulent mobile connections. The pilot project successfully identified nearly 5 lakh fraudulent SIMs out of the approximately 16.69 lakh SIMs present in the region.

Swift and Accurate Detection

ASTR’s remarkable speed allows it to swiftly detect all SIMs associated with a suspected face in less than 10 seconds, even when analyzing a vast database of 1 crore images. Its robust facial recognition algorithms and stringent matching criteria, requiring at least a 97.5 percent match, ensure accurate and reliable identification.

Limiting Mobile Connections

The DoT strictly regulates the number of legitimate mobile phone connections permitted using a single identity proof. ASTR plays a pivotal role in enforcing this regulation. It scans databases to identify individuals associated with more than nine connections or those who have taken SIMs under different names. Once fraudulent connections are detected, the DoT shares a comprehensive list with telecom operators, who promptly block the identified connections.

Collaboration for a Safer Telecom Environment

Recognizing the need for comprehensive action, the DoT collaborates with banks, payment wallets, and social media platforms. By sharing the list of fraudulent connections, these entities can disengage the identified numbers from their platforms, preventing potential misuse and cyber threats.



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