China, new rules for those who buy a mobile phone: mandatory face recognition


When registering new mobile telephony contracts people are already required to show their national identity card (as required in many countries) and to have their picture taken. But now they will also have their faces scanned to verify that they are a true correspondence with the data provided.

The new regulation has been defined by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology as a way to ensure that the government can identify all mobile phone users. Most people access the web through their mobile phones and the Beijing authorities have always tried to apply rules to ensure that everyone who surfs does it with their real identities.

With facial recognition this is possible, but many are worried. In fact, one of the main reasons is to be able to better trace the population. "There is a very centralized push – explains Jeffrey Ding, a Chinese artificial intelligence researcher at Oxford University – to try to keep everyone under control, or at least that's the ambition".

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