China introduces mandatory face scans for phone users
China will require telecom operators to collect face scans when registering new phone users at offline outlets starting Sunday, according to the country's information technology authority, as Beijing continues to tighten cyberspace controls. In September, China's industry and information technology ministry issued a notice on "safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of citizens online", which laid out rules for enforcing real-name registration.
China is as determined as ever to link real identities to the digital world. As of December 1st, anyone signing up for a new cellphone or cellular data It's not clear that China will get rid of face scans after the verification process, potentially adding more sensitive data to the mix. Whether or not the
People in China are now required to have their faces scanned when registering new mobile phone services , as When signing up for new mobile or mobile data contracts, people are already required to show their national identification card (as required in many countries) and have their photos taken.
China is as determined as ever to. As of December 1st, anyone signing up for a new cellphone or cellular data contract is to not only show their national ID card, but submit to a face scan to verify that identity. It's ostensibly meant to reduce fraud, but it also reduces your ability to use phone services in an anonymous way -- it'll be that much easier for the Chinese government to silence dissenters.
There are privacy issues beyond that, too. China is known to use facial recognition to, and also uses it against virtually everyone to that are on a state-run blacklist. It's not clear that China will get rid of face scans after the verification process, potentially adding more sensitive data to the mix. Whether or not the scans are immediately useful for surveillance, they might also represent prime targets for hackers who want photos to help commit fraud.
There is evidence of mounting opposition to widespread facial recognition in China, whether it's on social networks or lawsuits against companies that try to make it mandatory. Even the government promised to tone things down after a university tested facial recognition to monitor student attendance. However, it's doubtful the Chinese government will back down on face scans that help stifle political opposition.
China: the purchase of a consumer
In China, from this Sunday, December 1st, anyone who wants to buy a phone must agree to have their face scanned. Aim for Beijing: better internet monitoring, to which these phones are connected.
"Protecting the legitimate rights and interests of citizens in cyberspace", this is how Beijing presents this facial scan when buying a phone. "Control, and then more control," wrote on the social network Weibo a surfer when the new rule was announced last month.
In fact, Beijing, which has been monitoring and censoring the internet for years, is trying to get access to the real names of Internet users. As they connect most often from their phone, their face will be scanned at the time of purchase to see if they match the ID presented.
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China, which is at the forefront of this type of technology, has for years used the facial recognition, more and more adopted by consumers, to pay in supermarkets for example. But Beijing is also using it to monitor its population, particularly in the Xinjiang region.
There, members of the Uyghur ethnic group who have not been locked up in camps are under constant surveillance cameras using these facial recognition software. In 2017, China had 170 million surveillance cameras, and planned to install 400 million more by 2020.
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China names and shames tech giants for app privacy violations .
Chinese tech giants Tencent and Xiaomi have been reprimanded by Beijing for designing apps that infringe on users' privacy, even as the Communist regime amasses its own collection of personal data. Tencent is China's leading online video game company as well as a giant in messaging and myriad other apps. - Face scans -In September, a face-swapping app named Zao quickly became one of China's most downloaded apps but also triggered a backlash over privacy fears.The app allowed users to insert themselves into scenes from well-known movies using "deepfake" technology.