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Chinese police are using glasses with facial recognition tech to scan people's faces

By midian182 · 22 replies
Feb 8, 2018
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  1. For as long as it has been around, there have been concerns over the privacy implications that come with facial recognition systems. Now, the debate has been reignited following news that some police officers in China are using glasses with embedded facial scanning technology.

    The glasses were issued to officers stationed at the Zhengzhou East high-speed rail station in Henan province. The devices have already helped catch seven people connected to major crimes, including hit-and-runs and human trafficking, along with 26 people who were using fake IDs.

    Beijing-based LLVision Technology Co., the company that developed them, told the Wall Street Journal that the glasses can identify a person in 100 milliseconds and can recognize 100,000 different faces, though accuracy will probably drop due to “environmental noise” in the real world.

    The company also produces wearable video cameras that it sells to anyone, but those looking to buy its facial recognition devices have to be vetted first—and it’s not selling them to consumers.

    Rather than storing its database in the cloud like most other facial recognition systems, LLVision’s glasses access images from a hand-held device. If a person’s face is found, their name and address are sent to the officer.

    But there are fears that the glasses could be misused by Chinese authorities, who don’t have a stellar record when it comes to privacy and human rights. “The potential to give individual police officers facial-recognition technology in sunglasses could eventually make China's surveillance state all the more ubiquitous," Amnesty International's William Nee told the Journal.

    China is already working on "the world's biggest camera surveillance network." 170 million CCTV cameras are already operational, and 400 million more will arrive over the next three years. Many of these feature some form of AI, including facial recognition.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TechSpot Staff Posts: 681   +660

    DictatorshipLite™ becomes more totalitarian. Hold my beer while I put my surprised face on.
  3. My guess is they want to overtake the world #1 in CCTV surveillance, the UK!!
    "UK has 1% of world's population but 20% of its CCTV cameras. Experts have called for a halt in the spread of CCTV cameras. Britain is now being watched by a staggering 4.2million - one for every 14 people and a fifth of the cameras in the entire world."
    psycros and TheBigT42 like this.
  4. SirChocula

    SirChocula TS Maniac Posts: 174   +183

    You should report on those silver pillars things people are seeing all over New York. Many speculate they are advanced face recognition devices but the city is not giving any official answers to what they are.

    If true, the U.S is inching closer every day to being a police state (more than it already is) like China.
    TempleOrion and psycros like this.
  5. OneSpeed

    OneSpeed TS Evangelist Posts: 312   +125

    Problem is the UK aren't in control of HK any more; China is.
  6. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,998   +2,295

    Time loop alert! Its 1984 again, and again, and again...

    Each time we loop that loop, civil rights become a bit more uncivil.
  7. just pointing out privacy and surveillance concerns aren't limited just to dictatorships
    TempleOrion likes this.
  8. J spot

    J spot TS Maniac Posts: 221   +141

    I never understood why people immediately have a problem with such technology. This is a plus, if you're a worthless criminal, either the police recognizes you from memory, or the technology recognizes you. What's the difference. In NYC they have gun shot detectors that can very accurately detect when shot have been fire and triangulate more or less where the shots came from. And of course some people have problems with that. "MY privacy," as if anyone is looking for you.
    TempleOrion, Rippleman and Steve like this.
  9. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,998   +2,295

    They have those in my area, too. They are being challenged because the police immediately assume anyone in the target area is a suspect. There is a problem with that, though. The actual suspects could be long gone as they are likely well aware that shot detectors are in use.

    So just imagine that you just happen to be in the area where a shot was fired - after it was fired, of course. Police arrive, see you there, and immediately arrest you because you just happen to be in that area. Now just imagine that you are a gun aficionado and had been to the range that day firing shots. Well, you now have powder residue on your hands and you are a licensed gun owner, so guess what happens next?

    It is not the catching of criminals that is necessarily dangerous about this kind of tech. It is the profiling that it allows either covert or overt - at least as I see it. Especially in a country like China, such data could be easily used for human rights violations.
    regiq and psycros like this.
  10. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,717   +2,517

    A few years from now the most popular fashion accessories will be oversized mirrored glasses and convincing, stick-on facial alterations. We're in for some dark times, my friends.
    senketsu, TempleOrion and wiyosaya like this.
  11. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,254   +908

    The cops here already instantly scan your license plate and pull you over if you don't check out.

    This^ right here is next level.

    I'm waiting for a pair of glasses that can detect guns.
  12. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,833   +679

    They ought to develop glasses that prevent drivers of huge trucks rolling over electric bikes and glasses for electric bike drivers to stay out the way of huge trucks
  13. J spot

    J spot TS Maniac Posts: 221   +141

    This gun shot detector is not a new thing, it has seen plenty of action, and I had never heard of a case like the one you just wrote about, where the cops come and arrest any random person that happened to be there. That sounds like a fictional scenario based on the imagination of whoever first describe it, to try and make an argument as to why such technology shouldn't be allowed. NYC is full of people, it's the same as saying that someone called 911 because they heard gun shots, and the cops arrested everyone on site. Or it's the same as saying that we shouldn't call 911, because the cops might arrest the first person they find. The only thing I've seen of this has been the cops getting to a scene much faster, better determining what type of gun it was, if it's multiple shooters. It also involves cameras that turn to the direction of where the shots came from, catching the criminal. This all makes it much harder for the criminals. But I guess the camera might record an innocent bystander, so we shouldn't have it.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  14. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,998   +2,295

    You might be interested in reading this - http://www.sfexaminer.com/courtroom-testimony-reveals-accuracy-sf-gunshot-sensors-marketing-ploy/

    And this - https://www.democratandchronicle.co...es-conviction-man-who-shot-officer/1017531001

    And this - https://www.forbes.com/sites/mattdr...pact-as-silicon-valley-answer-to-gun-violence

  15. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,998   +2,295

    You can, apparently, get covers for license plates that do something like polarize the light so that those cameras cannot read the plate.
  16. J spot

    J spot TS Maniac Posts: 221   +141

    I read the first article. So basically the defense is saying that it's no good because it's not perfect. Using an example that it recorded 11 gun shots, when 9 were fired. Issues by the defense trying to get their client off. Yet the point of the matter is that it alerted the cops to the fact that there was a serious shooting. Should the technology be eliminated then? Or improved?

    Can you imagine this scenario, the system alert them of shooting, the cops get notified, it helps them catch the criminal. But yeah, lets have the criminal go free because it recorded 11 shots, but there were only 9. That's literally part of the argument.

    The system literally recorded the criminal shooting most of the shots. And even if it's not perfect it still does it's job, so I'm not sure what the article is supposed to prove.

    I read the Forbes article. It seems that the issue is the cost, with law enforcement opting to instead use surveillance cameras instead. Shouldn't that be a privacy issue? Due to the cost, I think it should only be used in big cities as NYC.

    Not sure what's the issue in the middle article. The technology alerted the cops to the scene, then after that it's up to the cops. The same as if they were alerted by 911. Seems that the prosecution did not have enough evidence, and an 8 second audio clip is not enough evidence.

    Read 3 articles. I'm burnt out now.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  17. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TechSpot Staff Posts: 681   +660

    To equate technology than can triangulate a gun shot with facial recognition glasses isn't exactly a like for like comparison, is it? Firing a gun in a city is not a particularly private act. Whereas going about your daily business and having the audacity to have a face could constitute someone just living their own private life.

    Also specifically on this point:
    If you're an innocent bystander who just doesn't want to be tracked, you needn't worry about a policy officer, as they'll forget you almost instantly. If you're caught by a facial recognition camera, your movements can be stored forever. Big difference.
    senketsu, TempleOrion and wiyosaya like this.
  18. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,254   +908

    That doesn't work.
  19. Scodd

    Scodd TS Booster Posts: 68   +11

    A mask? How about cloaking? This could get fun.
  20. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,998   +2,295

    The legal system is a conundrum of its own. I can understand why you feel you are burnt out.
  21. J spot

    J spot TS Maniac Posts: 221   +141

    The point of the gun shot triangulation example is to show how some people automatically start screaming "My privacy" over something so stupid, an automatic irrational reaction without consideration of what the technology is doing.

    Also facial recognition that matches a face to a criminal in a database (in this case it seems to be a local database that the cops carry around with them) is not going to store movement, and much less stored for ever. The bigger issue here would be security cameras.
  22. China is just a testing ground for NSA and DARPA technology. A perfect candidate as their government is already run by a bunch of scumbag dictators. The problem is, their people flood here with the same mentality and bent to be subservient to such behavior. Thus, turning America into China.
  23. TempleOrion

    TempleOrion TS Enthusiast Posts: 40   +26

    Citations? Oh, didn't think so...

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