China’s facial detection system recognises 1.4 billion people

Passengers use the new facial recognition system at Beijing Railway Station.The high-speed train announcement warns passengers if they break the rules it will be recorded on their personal credit file. As the technology is rolled out across China’s major cities, state media is highlighting its convenience, promising shorter queues, and “safety” benefits.

CHINA has the world’s most powerful facial recognition systems, which is being used in various ways. The system can identify any one of its 1.4 billion citizens within three seconds.
The main goal is for the system to match someone’s face to their ID photo 90 per cent of the time.
The project, launched by the Ministry of Public Security in 2015, is in development and collaborating with a security company based in Shanghai.
The cutting-edge network aims to identify any one of its 1.4 billion citizens within three seconds.
The project was launched by the Ministry of Public Security in 2015. It is under development in collaboration with a security company based in Shanghai.
China has installed many security cameras across the nation. Missing people could be found during Spring Festival if a face matches a database, it has been reported.
Unruly drivers identified
Police at Zhengzhou, central China use sunglasses equipped with facial recognition technology to spot criminal suspects at train stations.
On the road: Traffic police in Shenzhen has implemented 40 sets of surveillance cameras dubbed ‘robocops’ to identify the faces of unruly drivers and regulate traffic.

The technology is able to identify specific attributes of vehicles and people.

According to the South China Morning Post, the 1.4 billion-person facial recognition system is being developed by Isvision, which told the newspaper it had won the contract in 2014.
The company’s systems are connected to the police database of suspects, capable of recognising and tracking potential targets in a large crowd.
Experts have said the new nation-wide system is being developed for the same reasons.
The huge system will be connected to surveillance CCTV networks.
Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is an active remote sensing system that can be used to measure vegetation height across wide areas.What makes the new camera on the cutting edge of not just camera technology, but technology in general isn’t it’s novel use of LiDAR, however, it’s the AI system that eventually piece an image together.
It will make use of cloud facilities to connect to data storage and processing centres across China.
However, the project, said the South China Morning Post, faces challenging technological hurdles given the technical limits of facial recognition technology and China’s huge population.
Fan Ying, a researcher at Ministry of Public Security’s population management research centre, said to the newspaper that the project team has ‘unprecedented challenges’ due to the government’s demands for speed and accuracy.
It is changing daily life
Last month, China installed over 20 million cutting-edge security cameras in what is believed to be the world’s most advanced surveillance system.
The camera system, facilitated with artificial intelligence technology, is part of the ‘Sky Net’ operation, which is China’s anti-corruption programme mainly aimed to track down fugitives.
The technology can identify a pedestrian or a motorist, which can help policemen in their search for criminals.
A Chinese company developed a cash machine in 2015 that uses facial recognition to identify users, instead of the traditional PIN number – to identify card owners.
The device is able to scan the users’ faces to ensure they are the genuine holders of the bank account.
A Chinese man who was separated from his parents as a child has found his family earlier this year by using an online facial recognition system.
Fu Gui, 33, was re-connected with his birth parents on April 1 after using ‘Baby Come Home’, a Chinese website that helps people find their missing children.
Last year, a Chinese tourist town was using facial recognition to allow visitors to enter its tourist attractions.
The famous tourist town of Wuzhen uses cameras to spot people as they approach the entry, and checks these against a database of registered visitors within a few seconds.
Tests carried out using the facial recognition algorithm achieved only an accuracy rate of below 60 per cent, lower than the 88 per cent target. Jaywalkers in Shenzhen would receive an instant notification and a fine as soon as they violate the rules. Images and names of people crossing the road against red traffic lights would get projected onto large LED screens.
There are also concerns about possible security breaches and privacy issues.
Nankai University Professor Cheng Mingming said to the South China Morning Post that despite the size of the project, technological developments mean that all the information can be stored in small, portable drives and this increases the risk of data theft.
At the moment there are similar systems which operate on a smaller scale. They include the police’s database of criminal suspects and identity databases at the city or provincial government level.
Chen Jiansheng, a professor at the department of electrical engineering at Tsinghua University, said to the South China Morning Post the system would have to be built on an unprecedented scale because no country had a population as big as China’s.
The size of the new database, which stores portrait and detailed information of every Chinese citizen, does not exceed 90 terabytes, according to the ministry’s website and a paper written by police researchers.
In China, the use and breadth of advanced technology to surveil citizens has been relativity unprecedented comparing to other countries around the globe.
Facial recognition in particular has been deployed to track millions of members from the country’s ethnic minorities, the Uyghurs.

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