The New York Times concluded this after a year-long investigation in which journalists analyzed 100,000 Chinese government documents. These documents dealt with the purchase of equipment for the monitoring system.
The documents show that the Chinese government is making great efforts to monitor its citizens. Both nationally and locally, officials seem to be striving to achieve “maximum oversight.” In addition to the cameras on the street, the Chinese must also be monitored in the store and in the restaurant industry, they believe. The police can also ask hotels for photos.
The numbers show that China takes its ambitions on this issue very seriously. It is estimated that the Chinese government has access to more than 500 million security cameras. By doing so, the party has access to half of all security cameras worldwide. Using images from those cameras, self-learning algorithms are created that learn to recognize individuals. And the Chinese database is now huge: it will contain 2.5 billion images of faces, with which the police want to “control and manage people”.
But the Chinese government continues to collect DNA, iris scans, telephones and audio recordings using special microphones with a range of up to 100 metres. For some time now you can also be fined in some places if you go through a red light. The cameras get to know his identity and so she gets a fine on the carpet.
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