Facial recognition boosts China arrests

Facial recognition boosts China arrests

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Police in China have made more than 10,000 arrests with the help of facial recognition technology over the past four years. The company behind the tech, Cloudwalk, says its artificial-intelligence solution has been deployed in close to 30 Chinese provinces where it makes a huge 1bn face comparisons every day against its database.

The state-owned firm has also launched a video analytics research lab together the Ministry of Public Security to boost its collaboration with the police.

Cloudwalk is supporting the country’s enormous Skynet Project national surveillance network, ostensibly aimed at preventing crime. China has an estimated 200m cameras in public and private locations, with tens of millions more on their way.

The outfit’s success suggests either it is doing better than police forces in the west with their facial recognition solutions, or that the authorities have more lax arrest criteria.

In fact, tests of the technology have raised concerns that it is biased and inaccurate. Civil rights groups argue that monitoring innocent people in public is a breach of fundamental rights to privacy, freedom of speech and assembly.

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