Due to protests, PTI withdraws the move to install GPRS in Identity Cards for tracking movements of staffers

Seeing the widespread anger against its move, PTI withdraws the GPRS installation on their Identity cards

Seeing the widespread anger against its move, PTI withdraws the GPRS installation on their Identity cards
Seeing the widespread anger against its move, PTI withdraws the GPRS installation on their Identity cards

PTI Management does a volte-face

The Press Trust of India (PTI) walked back its decision to implement GPRS (General Packet Radio Services) on its identity cards by withdrawing the new system. Many employees’ leaders in PTI had objected to the new management’s decision to add GPRS and termed this as a Big Brother watching over the movements of employees. PGurus reported about this controversial move of including GPRS in the staffer identity cards with RFID family in major offices of PTI across the country[1].

In short, the new system brings in secure access and recording of the attendance and is not technically equipped to be a surveillance system,” said the new circular to employees.

The circular dated May 21 had cleared stated the installation of GPRS in the identity cards of PTI employees. There is still a doubt whether the management meant GPS or GPRS. Regardless, due to widespread anger, after two days, the management saw the errors of their ways and withdrew their decision and said that there is no intention of surveillance or tracking of the employees through the new system. The new circular said that only new Radio Frequency ID (RFID) tags are being installed in the identity cards.

“We had installed the existing biometric system about 15 years back and it is no longer functional in most of the centers. Even in Delhi office, it functions erratically. Therefore, there is an urgent need to upgrade this system to not only manage attendance but bring in a security access system to the PTI staff…

“The entry access and the attendance management system is not a subversive surveillance system nor does PTI intend to track the movement of any employee. The intention is to give access to the staff after identification through a swipe card system… In short, the new system brings in secure access and recording of the attendance and is not technically equipped to be a surveillance system,” said the new circular to employees.

The staffers of PTI are relieved that common sense prevailed in the PTI top management. The detailed clarification circular is published below:

PTI Circular Page 1
PTI Circular Page 2
Fig 1. PTI letter rescinding GPRS on its identity cards

References:

[1] PTI management wanted to track journalists’ movements? Insists GPRS installation in Identity CardsMay 22, 2018, PGurus.com

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