China has stepped up its internet censorship by demanding its citizens pass a facial-recognition test to be able to use web services.
People who want to have the internet installed at home or on their phones must have their faces scanned by the Chinese authority to prove their identities, according to a new regulation.
The rule, which will take effect on December 1, is said to be part of the social credit system which rates the Chinese citizens based on their daily behaviour.
Chinese citizens need to show his or her ID card while applying for a landline or the internet.
The facial-recognition test is set to verify that the ID card belongs to the applicant.
The directive was issued by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in September 2019 to take effect December 1st.
The Ministry claimed the move would help improve the country’s internet security and combat terrorism.
Chinese citizens are also banned from re-selling their SIM cards by the regulation to prevent unregistered users from making calls from mobile phones.
China has been building the world’s largest facial-recognition surveillance system.
The Big-Brother-style scheme is powered by hundreds of millions of AI street cameras aiming to identify any of the country’s citizens within three seconds.
The country’s 1.4 billion population are set to be carefully watched by 626 million CCTV monitors – many having facial-recognition functions – as early as next year, a recent study revealed.
That’s one camera for every two people.
The most-surveilled city in China, Chongqing, is equipped with more than 2.5 million street cameras, or one for every six people.
Critics, however, have voiced concerns over the system, claiming it’s a way for the government to invade citizens’ privacy and restrict their freedom.
Many have also compared it to a dystopian system run by a fictional state leader, Big Brother, in George Orwell’s novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’.
Read more at The Daily Mail