Chinese citizens are worried about the growing deployment of facial recognition across the country. This is revealed by a study conducted by a research institute based in Beijing …

Since the beginning of December 2019, Chinese citizens are now forced to undergo facial recognition to buy a new smartphone. In China, this technology is also deployed in railway stations, schools, or shopping centers across the country.

China is the country with the largest number of facial recognition cameras. There is no doubt that the government greatly appreciates this innovation, but what do the citizens think about it?

A study conducted by the Nandu Research Institute Personal Information Protection Research Center, based in Beijing; from 6152 citizens, reveals that the Chinese people are anxious and worried about the increasing use of facial recognition. Thus, 74% of respondents say they want to be able to choose another more traditional option such as identity card or passport to verify their identity.

The main fear, cited by a large number of participants, is that biometric data is hacked or fleeing. Thus, 80% of respondents say they are afraid that the various operators of facial recognition systems neglect security.

Yet another study reveals that their fears are far from unfounded. Led by comparitech cybersecurity firm, this study ranks China last in a ranking of 50 countries on how surveillance and biometrics systems are deployed. China is criticized for having no specific law to protect citizens’ biometric data.

Also in the survey conducted by Nandu, 57% of respondents also say fear that their movements are followed. In addition, 84% of them wish to be able to review the data collected by facial recognition systems about them and to be able to demand their removal. A right granted in Europe by the RGPD, but by no means in China …

Nevertheless, the study also reveals that 60 to 70% of Chinese citizens consider that facial recognition has made public places safer. It should be emphasized, because this shows that this technology is a double-edged sword …

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