China Introduces New Law that Require Face Scans to Sign Up for Mobile Plans

As face recognition technology has come a long way over last couple of years, a large number of companies have implemented the technology to improve security of their customers. However, due to face recognition’s possible effect on privacy, the technology has been focus of discussion related to consumer privacy. And now, Chinese government has implemented a new rule that will require citizens to submit a face scans when they submit a new phone line.
The latest law went into effect earlier on December 1st. In addition to the previous requirements of submitting documents to obtain new phone lines, Chinese citizens will now be required to provide photos of their face which will then be used to verify the buyer’s identity. While banks and financial services are using similar technologies for a long time, this is the first time a government has decided to implement such rules.
According to Chinese government, the new law will help the authority to improve its facial recognition database. However, as a large number of people already use smartphones, the latest change will strengthen China’s surveillance network moving forward.
Although it’s unlikely that similar laws will be introduced in the other countries in the near future, the latest news just shows that the face recognition will be part of the privacy related discussions in the coming years. Given that a large number of consumers are already using similar technology on a regular basis, it won’t be surprising if governments around the world implement laws to improve users’ privacy in the coming years.

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