French security researcher Elliot Alderson has posted a video of the use of facial recognition technology at a Shenzhen elementary school in China that has the internet half amazed, and half terrified. To earn access to their school, students pause in front of a screen which scans their face, the video shows.
One Twitter user wrote, “Serious breach of privacy. Using facial recognition even after knowing that it is not a foolproof system.” Others commented on the sheer volume of trackable personal data that the school would have access to.
Last year, a high school in Hangzhou was in the news for their “intelligent classroom behaviour management system”, that scanned the faces of students every 30 seconds to record emotions and actions. While the school’s principal said that system was safe as the system saved only data and not actual images, issues regarding such granular profiling of individual students were raised.
China has been in the news for the development of a state-run surveillance system that allows the police to scan and track each citizen, supposedly so that catching criminals will be easier. Recently the state has also been criticised for using similar systems to track Uighur Muslims.