It took Chinese authorities just seven minutes to locate and apprehend BBC reporter John Sudworth using its powerful network of CCTV camera and facial recognition technology.
This wasn’t a case of a member of the media being forcibly removed from the country. The chase was a stunt set up to illustrate just how powerful and effective the Chinese government’s surveillance system can be. It’s a stark example of the type of monitoring that China has invested heavily in over recent years with the aim of helping police do their job more efficiently.
Such systems are also used in private organizations, for example to monitor workers and processes in factories, but government critics have warned of the potential for abuse in the hands of the state.
China has the largest monitoring system in the world. There are some 170 million CCTV cameras across the country, and that’s tipped to grow more than three-fold with 400 million more set to be installed by 2020.
Beyond the sheer numbers of lookout points, China is harvesting information with a new-found focus on intelligence. The government also works with facial recognition and AI companies, such as unicorn Face++, which can pour through data to extract meaningful information such as faces, ages, registration plates and more.
In Your Face: China’s all-seeing state China has been building what it calls “the world’s biggest camera surveillance network”. Across the country, 170 million CCTV cameras are already in place and an estimated 400 million new ones will be installed in the next three years. Many of the cameras are fitted with artificial intelligence, including facial recognition technology. The BBC’s John Sudworth has been given rare access to one of the new hi-tech police control rooms.
[Breaking News]China’s cctv surveillance network took just 7 minutes to capture bbc reporter It took Chinese authorities just seven minutes to locate and apprehend BBC reporter John Sudworth us… http://c.newsnow.co.uk/A/2/915255218?…
Once the stuff of science fiction, facial-scanning cameras are becoming a part of daily life in China, where they’re used for marketing, surveillance and social control. Video: Paolo Bosonin. Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg Don’t miss a WSJ video, subscribe here: http://bit.ly/14Q81Xy More from the Wall Street Journal: Visit WSJ.com: http://www.wsj.com Visit the WSJ Video Center: http://wsj.com/video On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/wsj/videos/ On Twitter: https://twitter.com/WSJvideo On Snapchat Discover: http://on.wsj.com/2ratjSM