QR.bizNewsChina's facial recognition rollout reaches into mobile phones, shops and homes

China's facial recognition rollout reaches into mobile phones, shops and homes

The new rules, outlined by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), came into effect on Sunday. Authorities in China have not said what will happen with customers with existing accounts.

Internationally, the US has blacklisted various expertise corporations that work in facial recognition-together with giants like Megvii and Sensetime-for his or her function in propping up a technological surveillance state used to manage the Uighur minority in China's western Xinjiang province.

Researchers have previously warned of the privacy risks associated with gathering facial recognition data but consumers have widely embraced the technology.

Nevertheless, the technology's increased presence has been met with pushback as some question whether it is being overused.

Chinese mobile operators are legally obligated scan the faces of any new customer using facial recognition technology.

The aim is that by 2020, everyone in China will be enrolled in a vast national database that compiles fiscal and government information to give a "ranking" for each citizen. China says the camps are re-education and training centres. Artificial intelligence and facial recognition software are already used for surveillance in the country.

It is a world leader in such technologies, but they intensify use across the country in recent years has fueled the debate.

Many Chinese social media users reacted to the move.

In early November, a Chinese professor filed a claim against a safari park in Hangzhou, eastern Zhejiang province for requiring face scans for entry, according to the local court.

The Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper, which reported on the case in November, said he was anxious that the system might result in identify theft and asked for a refund.

"As someone who has had their identity stolen, I feel relieved", wrote one user in support of the policy on the microblog Weibo.

There has also been calls for greater regulatory oversight.

The People's Daily on Saturday called for an investigation, saying one of its reporters had found face data could be found for sale on the Internet, with a package of 5,000 faces costing just $1.42 (10 yuan). Telecom operators should use this facial scan to match the identity of the person to their identity documents.

Visual China Group via Getty Images  Visual China Group via Getty Images

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