China: Tech companies showcase how new advances can identify and track citizens at World Internet Conference

Author: Paul Mozur, New York Times (USA), Published on: 19 December 2017

"Inside China’s Big Tech Conference, New Ways to Track Citizens", 18 Dec 2017

…[I]n a demonstration…a Chinese facial recognition company showed how its technology could quickly identify and describe people.

…[At] the World Internet Conference, in the…Chinese city of Wuzhen…[t]he technology enabling a full techno-police state was on hand, giving a glimpse into how new advances in things like artificial intelligence and facial recognition can be used to track citizens — and how they have become widely accepted here.

…A fast-growing facial recognition company, Face++, turned its technology on conferencegoers. On a large screen in its booth, the software identified their gender, described their hair length and color and characterized the clothes they wore.

…[S]tate-run telecom company, China Unicom, featured a display with graphics breaking down the huge amounts of data the company has on its subscribers. One map broke down the population of Beijing based on the changing layout of the city’s population as people commuted to and from work. Another showed where foreign visitors roamed on its network. The people overseeing China Unicom’s booth openly discussed the data, a sign of how widely accepted such surveillance and data collection have become in China. At Unicom’s two other state-run rivals [China Mobile and China Telecom], a similar penchant for measurements and surveillance was also on display...[also mentions Alibaba, Apple, Google & Tencent]

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Related companies: Alphabet China Mobile China Telecom China Unicom Facebook Google (part of Alphabet) Tencent