China will now need Face Scans of citizens for buying mobile and SIM
According to the latest directive of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in China, people will now have to scan their faces before purchasing a mobile phone or sim card. The rule, which comes into force now, was announced in September 2019.
According to the requirements, individuals will have to blink during the scanning process and turn their head side-to-side. When you register your SIM on your phone, users will have to scan their face and submit it to the operator online. Then the telecom operator will forward these face scan data to govt.
This initiative is a part of China’s plans to attach their citizens’ online presence with their real names. For new phone services, citizens are already providing their identity proof. Even for Weibo, which is a state-run social media network, users need to have a real name link.
However, these services currently do not need facial scans and instead only need a connection to an ID card.
In its notice issued in September, China is referring to the new rule as portrait matching. According to them, the intention to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of citizens online.
Further, the notice also mentioned that China will further increase inspection and supervision and endorse real-name registration for mobile phone users.
According to experts, facial recognition software and artificial intelligence are already being used for surveillance. Govt. having facial scans of all citizens will further be used to keep a strict vigil on the citizens. This decision of the Chinese government comes at a time when the country is already facing the heat for monitoring the activities of its citizens.
Several incidents in recent times like the Hong Kong protests and accusations of security violations against Huawei have put the country’s identity in a bad shape. Thought the government is preaching the good side but we all know the Chinese govt. from past experience.
They will indeed improve their current face recognition system from all these face scans. Let’s see if the govt. follows what it’s preaching or as usual, misuse the data and technology.