Officials in Beijing will combine the country's state-of-the-art facial recognition technology with a version of their controversial 'credit system' to speed up security checks in the city's overcrowded metro system, according to HKFP.
Long queues and commuters arguing with staff over slow security procedures are common sites during rush hour in the metro system of the 20 million-strong metropolis. -HKFP
Cameras set up at the entrance to subway stations will scan the faces of passengers, sorting them into different security channels, according to the director of the Beijing Rail Traffic Control Center, Zhan Minghui.
He added that the plan will involve the creation of a "passenger credit system" in which 'white-listed' individuals will enjoy expedited security clearance. Those who receive "abnormal feedback" after their face scans will be subject to extra security measures.
"The technique aims to improve the efficiency of security checks and includes both body checks and luggage screening when large numbers of passengers enter the station," Zhan said on Thursday at an urban transportation forum in Beijing.
In May, the Beijing subway announced that it had started "deducting credit points" from passengers who eat in metro cars.
Officials did not announce a timeline for the rollout.
Beijing's subway system currently handles approximately 12 million trips on an average workday - a figure expected to increase to 17 million within the next two years.
China's use of facial recognition is becoming more commonplace. The Beijing Universal Studios amusement park which is currently under construction will admit visitors without a ticket - and will use cameras that scan their faces to determine whether they have paid for a ticket.
Meanwhile, a new law published on the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) website and distributed to all Chinese telecom carriers on Sept. 27th requires that "all telecom carriers must use facial recognition to test whether an applicant who applies for internet connection is the owner of the ID that they use since Dec. 1. At the same time, the carriers must test that the ID is genuine and valid."
If that wasn’t Orwellian enough, Chinese scientists have recently developed an artificial intelligence (AI) enabled 500 megapixel cloud camera that’s capable of panoramic capture of an entire stadium with the ability to target a single individual in an instant, Global Times reported.