China makes face scanning compulsory for mobile phone owners

US-Palestinian model Bella Hadid is taking steps to help the environment

US-Palestinian model Bella Hadid is taking steps to help the environment

Following various rumors, China will now start scanning faces before issuing a new mobile phone or a new SIM card to people living in the country.

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced the rule in September, requiring enforcement of the new measure on December 1.

Previously, prospective mobile service buyers were only required to present their identity cards when registering for new SIM cards. Many online platforms and services also require a phone number or another form of real-name authentication.

"In next steps, our ministry will continue to.increase supervision and inspection.and strictly promote the management of real-name registration for phone users", said the September notice.

They require new phone plan users to submit face scans alongside their national identification card information, ensuring their devices are linked to their real identities.

But the move to leverage AI comes as facial recognition technology gains traction across China where the tech is used for everything from supermarket checkouts to surveillance.

The facial scan data could be used for the surveillance of Chinese citizens.

Commenting under an article about the new rules, one user wrote: 'This is a bit too much'.

A potential knock-on effect: The use of facial recognition in China might seem irrelevant to people in other countries, but Chinese groups are helping to shape United Nations standards for the technology, the Financial Times reported yesterday.

In early November, a Chinese professor filed a claim against a safari park in Hangzhou, eastern Zhejiang province for requiring face scans for entry, according to the local court. Social media firms were forced to roll out real-name registration nearly a decade ago.

This mandate is to ensure that the rights and interests of the citizens of China are well protected.

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