China: facial recognition and state control | The Economist

Improving lives,… …increasing connectivity across the world. That’s the great promise
offered by data-driven technology. [Protests] But in China, it also promises
greater state control and abuse of power. [Protests] This is the next groundbreaking development
in data driven technology:… …facial recognition. And in China
you can already withdraw cash,… …check-in at airports,… …and pay for goods,
using just your face. The country is the world’s leader
in the use of this emerging technology. And China’s many
artificial intelligence startups… …are determined
to keep it that way in the future. Companies like YITU. We’re pioneering… …Artificial Intelligence research and innovation,… …in the hope of creating
a safer, faster, and healthier world. [Chinese] YITU is creating the building blocks
for a smart city of the future,… …where facial recognition
is part of everyday life. This could even extend to detecting
what people are thinking. Facial recognition:
they can read people’s emotions,… …and we are actually now working
on these innovative demonstrations and technology. But the Chinese government has plans
to use this new biometric technology… …to cement its authoritarian rule. The country has ambitious plans
to develop a vast national surveillance system,… …based on facial recognition. It’ll be used to monitor
its 1.4 billion citizens… …in unprecedented ways. With the capability of tracking everything,
from their emotions… to their sexuality. The primary means
will be a vast network of CCTV cameras. A 170 million are already in place,… …and an estimated 400 million new ones
will be installed over the next three years. The authorities insist this program
will allow them to improve security for citizens,… …and if you have nothing to hide,
you have nothing to fear. But not everyone is convinced. [Chinese] Hongshen Kwai is a former magazine editor. He was ousted by the government. He feels like he’s under constant surveillance. [Chinese] Already the authorities are using facial recognition
to name and shame citizens. Even for minor offenses,
like jaywalking. In Beijing,… …they’re using the technology
to prevent people… …stealing rolls of loo paper
from public toilets. And across China, police officers
are now trialing sunglasses and body cameras,… …loaded with facial and gesture
recognition technology. It’s helping them to identify
wanted suspects in real-time. What worries some people here… …is that, as the technology develops,
so too does the capacity for it to be abused. [Chinese] Some of those most at risk
in this hyper-surveillance future… …are the ethnic minorities in China. In Xinjiang province, the Chinese government
is wary of the separatist threat… …posed by the Muslim Uyghur population. According to local NGOs,… …an estimated 1 million Uyghurs… …are being detained indefinitely
in secretive internment camps,… …where some are being subject to abuse. It’s been called the largest mass incarceration
of a minority population in the world today. The authorities are using facial recognition cameras
to scan people’s faces before they enter markets. The system alerts authorities if targeted individuals stray 300 meters beyond their home. In the future, the government plans
to aggregate even more data,… …and build a predictive policing programme… …that imposes even tighter controls here. Without checks and balances,… …China will keep finding new ways
to violate the human rights of its citizens. What’s already happening in Xinjiang
is a warning the rest of the world must heed.

100 thoughts on “China: facial recognition and state control | The Economist

  • I’m using facial recognition to unlock my iPhone, is Apple going to send my facial data to the US government?

  • Western media gotta stop lying about xinjiang.
    this is what happen inside of "camp". check it out, it has english subtitle.

  • This will also come to corporations and shops.
    Face recognition is happening on the corporate level to prevent shoplifting.
    Stores and corporations may share their shoplifter data across borders.

  • Wake Up WORLD Wake Up ! One World Order ! Control of BODY MIND AND SOUL ! All muslims must Boycott China Immidetaly​ and put pressure on UN the useless org. to put sencions on China. All muslims Countries must UNIT and stop buying Chinese products. That will change Chinese mind soon. UYGHUR are very high Cultures very discipline and very peaceful people that's their weakness they should have had very strong Army. Uyghurs Land is very Rich, Chinese want full control of the land. China is trying to brake people to the point they fight back then China would have proven it's point. And the world will call Uyghurs muslims terrioriest too. These hatrad is Master minded by PAGAN Hindus and Zionists. World will catch on when all Christrians will go through the same but it will be too late.

  • Like always, when something is approved by both the masses and the government I don't think there will be any problem.

  • USA: EU, I know you are planning to buy Huawei, do not do it! China will spy on you!
    EU: Oh, thanks for the heads up. Wait, how do you know we are planning to buy Huawei?
    USA: Shut up.

  • I'm tired of people saying 'it's the same at any place of the world' or 'xxx is doing the same thing'. Don't be lazy, do some research and get to know more details. It's not China being hated but China hating its own people. If people in China can't be utilized properly by the authority, they become trouble or even potential threat.

  • If you don't have anything to hide you won't be scared. I think the population is growing so fast that this is the only way to control people's behavior

  • who controls what's been viewed by these surveillance equipment?
    WHERE Is the information of your face going to?

    This is Horrible.

  • This video is nothing but cross edit of commercial prototype advertisement and state propaganda. It shows no definitive source of actual facial recognition or public surveillance technologies being used by the Chinese government. Instead, look at this Amazon facial recognition system that is going to be implemented in Oregon and Orlando. The Economist should feel ashamed of producing this amateurish level of biased videos rather than reporting serious news.

  • interesting…why do these liberals always have the same options with robbers,theives,terrorists,liars and other criminals.

  • The Chinese government evil director ship control government is vary evil.this is the start of the number of the beast. So China is always called it's self the dragon. And in the holy bible. Satan is the the dragon. The Chinese government has taken total control over the people. That is ware all the people and rich and government's around the world .all run and join in with her riches and evil deeds.wake up world take that mark of the beast and there will be no turning back to god.for hope salvation. Jesus Christ the only saviour for man kind .

  • With nobody stopping them, only many countries waiting in line to buy their solutions, I can't see how this trend will ever slow down.

  • Once again, the Economist is propping up propaganda of the Asian Empire, broadcasting this scary stuff about this ancient cabal that keeps up to 35 million Chinese without indoor toilet facilities. All this scary modern tech news makes Asia look more powerful than it really is.

  • western always play dirty work in religion especially xinjiang china. you had no idea how long that the hangs and xinjiang people relationship since over few thousand years old not this era so stay out of great china

  • talk about privacy ? if u dont want invasion of privacy ,smash ur phone and move to middle of nowhere , everywhere is the same , all govornment do the same f up shit to its citizens.idk mabye someday people will sudden wake the hell up and fight ,because now yall like signing all the privacy trems for convenience

  • China doesc thing to protect majority of public safety. The American isto project safety of terrorist minority

  • If the state choose to they can make anything they want illegal, forcing citizens conform to anything; things like what clothes you wear, your purchase choices and even what you eat. This technology will jeopardise individualism and severely limit freedom of choice. Pushing people too far will lead to rebellion, anarchy and ultimately breakdown of society. So crack on China, roll on World War III. POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

  • Wow this is like Minority Report but for real lol. China has gone full on orwellian here. Sad we have gotten to this pathetic state.

    But we are also not far behind China in this respect. Good news is there still resistance to it as is the case in San Francisco.

    Which is trying to ban facial recognition. I hope they are successful as despise companies that use this technology for their own personal gain.


    This brings nothing of use to the general population but more control. China is an extreme case of course.

    But don't think it can't happen here as there is already a socialist movement. Which plays right into this whole way of thinking.

    This reminds me of World War II Germany. Where the Statsi Brigade where sent out to weed out German Jewish sympathizers.


    Citizens were asked to spy on other citizens and report to the Stasi. The Chinese government here is basically taking this to the next level.

    A mentality where points are added or subtracted. Based on how good Chinese nationalist you are or not. Get enough strike points against you.

    Your publicly shamed for all to see lol. Well that's certainly one way of controlling the population. Where is Neo when you need him lol. :/

  • This is exactly why I want to live off grid. Nothing good will come in the future of living in high density population centers.

  • Kyaaaaarrrr! Creepy commies. "Vote" w/ your fashion: WEAR a HAT, wear sunglasses, and carry an umbrella. Send a strong, clear message: WE do NOT CONSENT.

  • Isis Terorist can not come at china because there is many china use facial recognition will spy on you isis terrorist too easy caught to be death. Because china already hate isis terorist during 1989 – 2016.. china, american and european will complete facial recognition in future

  • Like, why would you be concerned if you are a good person? At least it's better than woken up at 3 am by some emergency message asking for citizens' help to find some kidnapper's car with a fking plate number. It's like there's no security camera in Canada

  • This is creepy and human Right violating. Just imagine You are staying naked spiritually and physically anywhere you go through those CCTVs.

  • Alright, I`ve got one for you. As you probably know, China`s very big on surveillance. Well, this Chinese criminal who was wanted went to watch football, and there were around 60,000 people in the stadium. Anyway, the cameras picked him out using facial recognition, and the police were able to come along and apprehend him. When the British law enforcement agencies heard about this they though, "Wow! That`s impressive – we`ll have some of that." So anyway, at great expense Britain goes ahead and purchases and installs this state of the art equipment. Unfortunately it didn`t work over there – all English people look the same.

  • The wall of shame hahah I picture has been in one, we were crossing the road but the light traffic changed to red in the middle of our crossing, and We’re there on the wall of shame

  • why are people shouting English to protest or is it happening in another country? Or maybe they are just puppet of foreign media? Edit: and also holding an American flag. oops

  • I can't even make a comment. I don't want any slope heads knocking at my door (and I live in Australia).

  • Nazis in china too. I don't think Germany lost WWII. It was a deception, after all the US did take in the German Nazi Scientists and they worked for the US Government. Isn't that correct America? This up surd predictive software will be coming to each state in America immediately. America be aware of tyranny.

  • But thats what is happening round the world. Not just China, if you have a touch phone, you are surveilled 24/7 and can do virtually everything with your phone

  • Actually they doing great they tracking people for their own good and safety and security the country with 1:3 billion people can pay with you face means how develop their country is amazing all countries must follow this

  • This is so scary, its gonna make ppl not even wanna step foot in this country for fear of being monitored n then stealing my data for their communist research

  • I no longer poo poo the idea of usa going to war with china! Fuck them and their bullshit, safer, healthier life etc, are they on drugs!?

  • Surveillance, monitoring, lack of privacy etc naturally brings out the worst in people so are they pretending they dont know psychology?

  • Ever heard of a major terrorist attack in china? No, right- Because of this strong surveillance.

    We in India hear news of our soldiers dying in kashmir, every now and then. Acts of violence are high. Women dont feel safe here. If at all I want Indian govt to learn from Chinese.

    Well done China. Dont listen to these western media losers who are spreading their anti-china propoganda out of pure jealousy.

  • What's so bad about constantly surveilled? It stops people from doing wrong things at all times. ""If you have nothing to hide, there is nothing to fear.""

  • Apart from this China is a murderous state,China is country where any can get organ for transplant within the 2 hours !
    Chinese bucher Uighurs and Tibetans for organ sale and locked more than 5millons Uighurs locked in Chinese concentration camps.

  • 没关系英国永远别装人脸识别,享受人权与犯罪. Uk should never build such a system so that British can enjoy life with full human right and criminal events. Thank you for your discrimination.

  • 没关系英国永远别装人脸识别,享受人权与犯罪. Uk should never build such a system so that British can enjoy life with full human right and criminal events. Thank you for your discrimination.

  • iKeyMonitor monitors text message, passwords, site pages, screenshots and then sends the logs to you through Email.
    ikeymonitor, com

  • Typical British schmucks. Making this about "race." But what about the power the Red Chinese wields against the whole society with this technology?

  • Meanwhile everyone and their newborns are giggling away on FaceApp, as their data sits with the Russian coders who made it.

    Because Russia never gives China things…

  • Most of western countries are applying the same methodology to control and surveillance their citizen via phone, iphone, smartphone and camera as well, specifically US, UK, Germany, French and Australia.

  • This solves cases of false accusations.

    Imagine a girl accuses you of rape on a certain day, turns out in camera you are in a different place at that time. Or

    A man lies about cheating behind his wife, and get caught kissing or dating in camera.

    It's a win win situation. It must be implemented for law and courts purposes only. Not for government abuse

    Only works in countries, where law making is controlled by the people.

  • China s one of the safest country (1.4billion ppl , the % of violent crime s so low) the chinese guy in the vid s just a paid actor I don't say, ask western who s been in China or majority of chinese I bet they ll tell a different story. if you didn't commit any crime what's there to worry about? no one gives a fk if you watch porn on you phone in public as long as you keep it down.

  • Freedom can not be dangerous; slavery can not be peaceful Thomas Jefferson was illogical Just like Religion without sin. , capitalism without bankruptcy

  • So that's why.
    Our president Rodrigo Duterte loves China & develops relationships between the Philippines & China, because the Chinese government & the ruling Communist Party of China ended terrorism, illegal drugs, criminality & brought dicipline & security using this technology.
    I guess this is how fundamental these surveilance cameras are to our foreign policy.

  • Probably doing this elsewhere and more. just that they're not telling you. In a country like China it's overt, in a democracy it's covert.

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