All new cellphone users in China must now have their face scanned

All new cellphone users in China must now have their face scanned”

It comes as Chinese lawmakers try to verify the identities of the country's hundreds of millions of internet users, the BBC reports.

The Chinese government likes face recognition and include it in various authentication services.

China is referring to this new mandate as "portrait matching" and said in a September notice that its intention is "safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of citizens online".

By 2020, China plans to give all of its 1.4 billion citizens a personal score, based on behavior, using facial recognition, artificial intelligence, smart glasses and other technologies to monitor and rate its citizens - a plan that's raised numerous privacy concerns among United States officials.

For those who don't know, China already requires the people to submit their national ID proofs before applying for a new SIM or buying a new mobile phone.

While surveillance technologies have encountered little public opposition, there has been some mostly anonymous debate on social media platforms like Weibo with some questioning what the aim of such a programme is.

That said, even this particular area of identity verification isn't completely fresh for Chinese phone users.

More news: Facebook announces new tool for transferring images and videos to Google Photos

China has for years been trying to enforce rules to ensure that everyone uses the internet to do so under their "real-name" identity.

Last month, Chinese state media announced the development of a new "super camera". The United States expanded its trade blacklist in October to include these firms, and others, barring them from buying components from U.S. companies without USA government approval.

The metro systems of some major Chinese cities have announced they will use the technology, with government-owned newspaper China Daily saying Beijing will use it to "classify passengers" to allow for "different security check measures".

Facial recognition has been gaining momentum in China.

But it is used increasingly often in the private sector as well, such as to pay in shops and supermarkets. Facial recognition technology will be used by companies.

In November, a university professor from Zhejiang province in eastern China filed a lawsuit against a wildlife park which required using its facial recognition system to access the facility.

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