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Technology China implements mandatory face scans for mobile phone users, report says

00:01  03 december  2019
00:01  03 december  2019 Source:   cnet.com

Chinese Citizens Will Have to Scan Their Faces to Get Internet Access and New Phone Numbers

  Chinese Citizens Will Have to Scan Their Faces to Get Internet Access and New Phone Numbers Starting December 1, Chinese citizens will have to allow telecommunications carriers to scan their faces when signing up for internet access or to get a new phone number. © Photo: Getty ImagesThe new rule was announced by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on September 27 (link in Chinese). Roughly translated via Google, the statement says the reason for the new changes is to “earnestly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of citizens in the cyberspace.

Chinese telecom operators are now reportedly required to scan the faces of people registering new phones . The mandatory "portrait matching China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile , the country's three largest carriers, are state-owned. It's not known at this time how the law will apply to

China will require telecom operators to collect face scans when registering new phone users at offline The notice said telecom operators should use "artificial intelligence and other technical means" to In addition to mobile users , Chinese social media site Weibo was forced to roll out real-name

Chinese telecom operators are now reportedly required to scan the faces of people registering new phones . The mandatory "portrait matching," which officially began Sunday, means customers have to record themselves turning their head and blinking if they want to register for a new phone number. The mandate is part of China's plan to tighten cyberspace controls and crack down on fraud.

a close up of a blue wall: Registering a phone number in China just got very personal. James Martin/CNET© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Registering a phone number in China just got very personal. James Martin/CNET

A notice about the change from the country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology went out in September, according to a Sunday report from AFP. The notice, obtained by AFP, said that telecom operators should use "artificial intelligence and other technical means" to verify a person's identity when they get a new number. In addition, the notice said the ministry will continue to "increase supervision and inspection."

Chinese tech giants are developing apps to alert women to spycams

  Chinese tech giants are developing apps to alert women to spycams The launch of the new features comes amid growing awareness in China of the issue of digital privacy. Face-swapping app Zao, which allows users to pretend they had a starring role in a blockbuster film, was once China’s most downloaded app. But after sparking concerns that users’ photos could be used for other purposes without their authorization, Chinese regulators told the company to rectify the app.

China will require telecom operators to collect face scans when registering new phone users at offline outlets starting Sunday, according to the country's The notice said telecom operators should use "artificial intelligence and other technical means" to verify people's identities when they take a new

China will require telecom operators to collect face scans when registering new phone users at offline outlets starting Sunday, according to the country's The notice said telecom operators should use "artificial intelligence and other technical means" to verify people's identities when they take a new

a close up of a fan: Registering a phone number in China just got very personal. © CNET

Registering a phone number in China just got very personal.

China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile, the country's three largest carriers, are state-owned. It's not known at this time how the law will apply to existing accounts, according to Reuters.

Facial recognition has been gaining momentum in China. The country is home to Megvii and SenseTime, two of the world's leading facial recognition companies. Supermarkets, subway systems and airports already use facial recognition technology. Alibaba, an online e-commerce company, lets people pay with their face in some locations, according to Reuters.

By 2020, China plans to give all of its 1.4 billion citizens a personal score, based on behavior, using facial recognition, artificial intelligence, smart glasses and other technologies to monitor and rate its citizens -- a plan which has raised numerous privacy concerns from US officials.

CNET reached out to the Chinese Embassy and we'll update when we hear back.

a close up of a computer© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.
Google's Nest Hub Max smart display tracks your face

Navy bans TikTok from government-issued phones .
Don't expect to post often on TikTok if you're serving in the US Navy. The military branch has banned use of the social video app on any government-issued mobile devices. ByteDance's software is allegedly a "cybersecurity threat," according to a bulletin. The Navy's Lieutenant Colonel Uriah Orland didn't offer specific reasons for the ban, but the notice asked troops to take action to "safeguard their personal information." There's little doubtThere's little doubt as to why TikTok might face restrictions, though. US politicians remain concerned about TikTok's Chinese ownership and the potential for the app to serve as a conduit for Chinese government plans.

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