China Pushes Facial ID by Mobile Phones
|Source: Facial ID Scanning Stock Image|
May Prevent Fraud in Cyberspace But Does it Increase Citizen Surveillance?
This is a new use of facial recognition technology that the world is watching. China put new regulations into effect on Sunday that require Chinese telecom operators to scan the faces of people registering for new mobile phone services in China. The consumer or business could be buying a new SIM card or any new mobile phone services. The purchaser has no choice but to have their face scanned. The Chinese government says it's combating cyber-fraud and protecting its citizens from being hacked. This is facial recognition at the cutting edge of use, controversy and possibly usefulness. Once your face is scanned on your mobile phone, anyplace you use it, such as in your home and stores, could be tracked.
This could be viewed as a legitimate and ongoing push by China to ensure people are using the internet under their real names in order to prevent fraud and increase cybersecurity. Or it could be viewed as increased surveillance on Chinese citizens. Or the goals and objectives could include all of the above.
UN and World Are Watching
The Chinese deployment of facial recognition technology is being closely watched globally. There are no global standards for such ID tech yet. Potential global standards on the use of facial ID tech are being reviewed and will be set as standards by the United Nations. Interestingly, Chinese technology firms are participating in the UN effort. Stay tuned for this piece of innovative, disruptive technology in the middle of infringing on personal freedoms and protecting you from cyber-theft, right now playing in on a world stage in China.