China using facial recognition to ID scalpers at hospitals

Author: 
AP
ID: 
1551060762852310100
Mon, 2019-02-25 02:06

BEIJING: Chinese hospitals are using facial recognition to
identify people who sell doctors’ appointments at an illegal
markup, the latest application of an emerging technology that is
being used in places to tighten Communist Party control over the
country’s 1.4 billion people.
More than 30 hospitals in Beijing have installed the technology and
have already identified more than 2,100 individuals who appear
regularly to make appointments, then turn around and sell them to
others for a profit, state media said Sunday. Chinese public
hospitals require patients to line up for appointments on the day
they wish to see a doctor, creating a lucrative secondary market
for scalpers to sell them better numbers and save on waiting
time.
China’s markets are rife with counterfeit goods and fraud, and
China has been aggressively applying facial recognition technology
in everything from distribution of toilet paper by public
lavatories to identifying jaywalkers — virtually in real
time.
It’s among the technologies that President Xi Jinping’s
government is deploying — also including the processing of big
data, buying habits and genetic sequencing — to increase the
party’s store of personal information about individual
citizens.
Such data is being fed into a system of “social credit” that
rewards or penalizes individuals based on their behavior. Those
with offenses ranging from failure to pay taxes and fines to
walking a dog without a leash can face punishments including being
barred from buying tickets for flights or seats on the country’s
high-speed trains.
Human rights activists say “social credit” is too rigid and
might unfairly label people as untrustworthy without telling them
they have lost status or how they can win it back.

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China using facial recognition to ID scalpers at hospitals