Users reacted with mix reviews over new face recognition notice introduced on December 1, 2019.
China asks telecom companies to collect face scans data of new phone users while registering with their new account. According to the telecom authorities and media reports, new face scan rule is set forth in order to curb cyber crimes and tighten the cyberspace control.
In September, Chinese information & technology ministry issued a notice on “protecting the privacy rights of Chinese citizens and stop fraudulent via internet and other social media sites” which eventually lead enforcing the rule of face recognition while first time registration of smart phone users.
In the notice, it’s been stated that telecom operators should use “artificial intelligence and other technical means” to verify user’s identities when users register with their new android phone.
A Chinese Unicom customer representative explained that the “portrait matching” requires facial recognition for new smart phone users in which they can record themselves with their head turning and eye blinking.
In the September notice, Chinese information & technology ministry further stated that that “our ministry will continue to…increase supervision and inspection…and strictly promote the management of real-name registration for android phone users,”.
Chinese government has already taken a step earlier in 2013 for ID cards linking with new phone user registration. In further effort, Chinese government brings in facial recognition technology to improve cyber control everywhere from supermarket checkouts to surveillance.
In an earlier attempt to curb the cyber control, Chinese social media site Weibo was compelled to introduce real-name registration on March 16, 2012. Chinese social media platforms are filled with mix reactions in favor of and against facial verification notice. Some are in favor of this move while some are pressing concerns about leakage of their biometric data.