Friday December 28, 2018

China Uses Facial Recognition to Crackdown on Illegal Subletting in Public Housing

China has devised a facial-recognition smart lock that allows the government to crackdown on illegal subletting in public housing. Like most countries, China has limited space and resources to dedicate to public housing for older and poor citizens. In many instances, these tenants are illegally subletting their residences to others and the government wants to crackdown on these practices.

By installing the facial-recognition smart locks (example) in housing projects, China can compare the facial information of visitors to its central database to recognize tenants and deny access to strangers. This measure is expected to improve the security of public housing and stop illegal subletting. If a person is convicted of illegal subletting, their information in the national credit system will reflect their crimes, and they will be ineligible for low-income housing for five years. Housing in Beijing runs about $730 a month.

In addition, the face scanning system can look out for aged residents, particularly those living alone, according to the report. If a senior resident has not been in or out of their home for a set period of time, the system will automatically prompt the estate management to check in. The move is the latest example of the use of facial recognition technology by the Chinese authorities to keep an eye on its citizens. One Beijing park even installed toilet paper dispensers equipped with facial recognition functions to discourage visitors from taking too much loo roll.