Let’s say you live in a country where there’s been reports of massive outbreaks of a highly contagious viral infection. Hypothetically, let’s call this infection “ coronavirus .” To avoid spreading this “ coronavirus ,” many people have taken to wearing medical face masks when going about their everyday life. These masks don’t do much, medically speaking, but it’s considered the polite thing to do.
Now, let’s also say that the government there is notorious for widespread and unregulated use of facial-recognition technology as a way to both fight crime and to identify and silence political dissidents.
This government has taken to banning face masks at massive anti-regime protests that have been shaking one of its more economically viable, semi-independent territories for the better part of a year, in an effort to better identify and target the protesters. Getty So, what would this government do, if suddenly most of its population begins wearing face masks on the regular?
Well, if you’re China , you might be seriously considering the government grant application of one Megvii, a Chinese unicorn startup known for developing the Face++ facial-recognition system. According to Reuters , Megvii has applied for a 100 million yuan ($14.32 million U.S.) grant to improve technology that can identify people who are wearing masks in crowds.
“Regardless of what you think the intentions are, it’s obvious what this kind of tech is for,” said Chris Kennedy, chief information security officer at AttackIQ, a cybersecurity for business firm. “If a masked robber commits a crime, […]
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