China’s New Surveillance Plans that Include Facial Recognition and 600 Million CCTV Cameras

China President

Not many countries have so much love for keeping an eye on their citizens as China does. And with the constantly increasing development of the new and powerful facial recognition software, they are getting the right toys for doing it too.

These are two areas that complement each other very nice, which is why China is planning to exploit their combination like no nation before. The country’s newest plan is to roll out this facial recognition, and on a massive scale too. Because of the law, every citizen must have an ID with a photo issued by the government by the age of 16.

Thanks to this, the centralized image database of China’s citizens already exists, which will help a lot with starting the facial recognition system. Not to mention tons of other photos that can be found on social networks.

That is one part of this task, while the other includes CCTV cameras. But China has that covered too. They already have over 176 million of them working, and in the next 3 years, their plan is to add another 450 million. These are some amazing numbers, which would mean that China would have over 600 million cameras by the end of 2020. That means one camera per every three people in this country, which is amazing.

China is no stranger to facial recognition software, though, and they already use it for various activities. This includes getting the money from an ATM, entering the workplace, and even unlocking the phone. They even have software in their KFC that is scanning the faces of the customer and creating menu suggestions.

They use CCTV in combination with facial recognition even in churches, temples and alike. The point here is to see whom of their citizens are engaging in such activities. Of course, it is only a matter of time before the cameras will be placed on police cars’ roofs in order to scan the surroundings.

This is a very interesting concept, and it might help with identifying wanted criminals in the crowd. There is even a prototype developed, and it is currently in testing.

China is also working on special facial recognition drones, which will also be able to scan the crowds and detect persons of interest. However, as great as that sounds for regular, law-abiding citizens, this is still a bit too futuristic, and it won’t be seen for quite some time.

Still, it is still possible, and if anyone can find a way to create facial recognition drones, it is China.