Police Mandate Use of Blockchain Hotel Registry in Indian City

Sujha Sundararajan
May 4, 2018 at 13:15 UTC
Updated May 4, 2018 at 13:25 UTC

Police in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh have ordered hotels to deploy a new blockchain security solution developed by local startup Zebi.

According to a Medium post from the startup published last Friday, the product merges blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) to securely store data about hotel guests, and aims to both bring convenience to customers and to help prevent criminal activities.

The data collected is compared with the police database of criminals, missing persons and so on to ascertain whether the guest has any criminal background.

Zebi said that the solution – dubbed Zebi AI Chain – has already been integrated across over 200 hotels, including The Park, Taj Gateway, Novotel in Vizag, the capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh known for its “Fintech Valley” ecosystem.

Dr Fakeerappa Kaginelli, IPS, Deputy Commissioner of Police in the Vizag region, confirmed that the use of the solution has been made mandatory for all hotels in the Vizag city limits.

He told Coindesk today:

“All hotels are directed to enter their check-in particulars on real-time basis without fail and they are adhering too … 230 hotels are entering their guest particulars through this tech web page.”

The initiative collects real-time date from hotel check-in desks in order to provide “real-time surveillance over criminals and their anti-social activities,” he said. “No criminal activities as such are reported to date.”

Under Indian law, hotels must provide guests’ personal data to the police on a daily basis.

“Generally, they do it manually, leaving scope for misuse during transportation and storage of papers. Time to process the documents too is long,” said Babu Munagala, Zebi’s founder and CEO, according to the Hindu Business Line.

The posts states that the “private and sensitive” data of hotel guests is immutably stored in the Zebi AI Chain system, adding that visitors are asked to give permission for access to the data.

Nagesh Kumar Venkata, assistant front office manager of The Park hotel, was quoted as saying that local police previously had to visit the hotel on a regular basis to ascertain the status of tourists and their backgrounds. “Now it is not necessary,” he said.

Looking ahead, Zebi further says it is preparing for “full-scale deployment across all the hotels in India.”

Indian police car image via Shutterstock