Every government is found using the facial recognition technology in one way or another. But China is seen leveraging this technique very rapidly, as it now mandates this authentication in some critical sectors as telecom!
Facial Recognition is about identifying something based on a few inputs (mostly features). This could be helpful in detecting things, but gets creepier when applied to humans. Yet, in many countries, at least China does this to keep its citizens in control.
A recent report from European Computer Vision Facial Recognition tells the market size of China’s computer vision facial recognition is growing at CAGR of massive 53%. It’s estimated the market value of this to be around 15.17 billion yuan ($2.1 billion) in 2018. Future estimates tell that this value could grow about 53 billion yuan ($7.5 billion) in 2021.
Adding to this subject is the Social Credit System, where all the citizens of the nation will be reputed based on their economic and business activities, which will help them in availing services and denying some if has low score. If you think this system to be weird, China is now mandating the facial recognition technology in availing telecom services too!
A recent report from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) China informed that it’s now compulsory for all those people who’re applying for new mobile and data services to get their face scanned by their telecom providers! Further, they’re not allowed to pass their SIMs (numbers) to others and suggested everyone to check if someone has registered their number on another name and to correct accordingly.
What do all these mean?
One could simply say it’s the pure violation of citizens’ privacy and human rights. And one could argue that it’s a better way of restricting malpractices. But whatever you think, China isn’t stopping with its practices and even tells other nations to appreciate their efforts of protecting their sovereignty.
Recently, an incident reported hundreds of millions of private chat logs of popular messaging apps were unencrypted and easily accessible by anyone online with just a simple IP address search. With respect to mandating facial recognition in telecom services, MIIT responded as
” It’s to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of citizens in cyberspace”.