China Prepares a Database With The Faces of its Inhabitants

China Database

The Ministry of Public Security launched the project in 2015 and is already at a very developed stage. Authorities in China Database, one of the countries where facial recognition systems are making further progress, are preparing a database with the faces of nearly 1.4 billion people, with the goal of recognizing anyone in seconds in if necessary.

China Prepares a Database With The Faces of its Inhabitants

According to the South China Morning Post, the project was launched by the Ministry of Public Security in 2015 and has already reached a highly developed phase, with 90 percent accuracy, although it still raises doubts about its possibilities of implementation or the possible misuse that can be given to such data.

A security company based in Shanghai Isvision, is responsible for developing the system, using an algorithm designed by SeetaTech, an emerging company launched by researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Computer Technologies.

The system could use in the future the huge networks of surveillance cameras that exist in much of the Chinese cities, connected with a database in the cloud that according to the experts would gather all faces and personal data of the Chinese citizens, and which would occupy about 90 terabytes.

China Database: Citizens Privacy Protection

The development of this system raises doubts about the protection of the privacy of the citizens, before which experts related to the project assure that the commercial use of this information will be strictly prohibited.

They also defend that access to this database requires the passing of security codes or keys from different high-ranking officials of the Ministry of Public Security, so data theft is extremely difficult.

It is not surprising that this technology is developing in China Database, a country where facial recognition is already used on a smaller scale in local governments, to identify suspects, or where commercial use of similar technologies is already present in daily life.

Uses of This Scanner

The Chinese can already use their face only to board a plane at some airports, or to pay at fast food restaurants, while other establishments in the country offer discounts if a customer lets their face be scanned and the identification system considers it “Handsome”.

Some public restrooms use facial recognition to sell toilet paper and thus avoid asking too much, and sometimes the face is used, instead of a number key, to open or close luggage lockers in public areas.

An expert from the Institute of Computer Technologies related to the security project told the South China Morning Post that in spite of these experiences the national database is developing with difficulty because of the huge population of China.

He Said: Among more than 1.3 billion people who have absolutely no kinship have faced so similarly that even their parents could not differentiate them.