Mainland police trial face-recognition shades - RTHK
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Mainland police trial face-recognition shades

2018-02-08 HKT 03:39
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Mainland police have begun wearing high-tech sunglasses carrying facial-recognition technology to help spot suspects. However critics fear the equipment will give even more power to the authoritarian government, and could be used for racial profiling of ethnic minorities.

The glasses have a camera connected to a smartphone-like device that allows the officers to take photos of people send them to a database. The device can then upload the person's vital information, including name, ethnicity, sex and address.

It also tells officers whether the suspects are on the run from the law, the address of the hotel where they are staying and information related to their internet usage.

The glasses are being trialled by officers at the entrances to the rail station in the central city of Zhengzhou, according to the People's Daily.

So far, the technology has helped police arrest seven suspects accused of crimes ranging from human trafficking to hit and runs, as well as another 26 people who were using fake IDs, according to the paper.

The system is part of efforts to build a digital surveillance system able to use a variety of biometric data - from photos and iris scans to fingerprints - to keep close tabs on the movements of the entire population.

But the programmes have drawn fierce criticism from human rights organisations and privacy advocates, who are concerned by their potential for abuse. (AFP)