China is very particular about its online security which is evident from its history of online restrictions. In this line, the Chinese government brings a new resolution that its citizens now have to adopt face recognition technology to apply for internet services. Internet security is already fire-walled in China and now it is going to be more strong.
Being part of China’s social credit system, this law will be in effect on 1st Dec, this year. When the law will be in effect, Chinese citizens who want to have the internet installed at their houses or on their smartphones will be required to undergo a facial recognition process. The process will be undertaken by Chinese authorities to check and verify the identities of citizens.
This step is taken by the Chinese government because from December onwards, the government will rate its citizens on the basis of their online behavior. Further according to this law, now the Chinese citizens have to present the ID of the same person who is applying for the services.
On 27th September, the new law was officially notified to all the Chinese telecom service providers and was also published on the official website of the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
The good thing about the new system of face recognition is making easy payments. China is running another Chinese pilot program, according to which all the Chinese citizens have to pay for train and subway through facial biometrics. In fact, now the senior citizens of China will get a free ride in Shenzhen (A City of China) if the commuter is paying using facial recognition technology.
Revealing its future planning regarding online security, China is about to merge more than 170 million security cameras with artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology so as to keep mega-surveillance over the country. This will also be connected to China’s Social credit system in which the citizens are given rank on the basis of their behavior and are given rewards according to this ranking.
China has spent billions on its surveillance equipment in the year 2018, A report of U.S.-based market research firm IDC says. The statistics revealed that China has expended on buying $10.6 billion on video surveillance equipment. This figure may double up by 2023.
Currently, the majority of places in China are under surveillance like its classrooms, city areas, restrooms, etc. Students in the classroom are monitored through facial recognition technology and timely reports are given to teachers and parents. In fact, if anyone wants to use a public toilet in China, he has to scan his face to clean his butt. Ah! sounds funny.
According to the Global Times report, Chinese scientists have developed a 500 Megapixel camera, based on AI (Artificial Intelligence) to capture the panoramic view of the whole stadium at once with even the minute details of an individual.
Senior researchers of the University of Bradford officially documented the evolution of facial recognition technology. According to EurekAlert, “facial recognition technology works even when only half a face is visible,”
Activist Post has written on his post that, Hong Kong activists have started protesting China’s unreasonable use of facial recognition technology. This activist group uses shining laser pointers to damage the function of facial recognition cameras. Plus, Protesters are also spraying painting on camera lenses and government offices.
Well, maybe the step was taken by the Chinese government in favor of online security and to make China’s Social credit system better but there could be some major side-effects of this practice. Give your thoughts and review about this step taken by China in the comments section.