While it can speed up the control process at the airport, facial recognition by the authorities raises questions about individual freedoms
Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (more than 40 million passengers in 2016) introduced China's first passenger screening system using facial recognition technology. This will allow passengers to check-in, check their luggage, pass security screening and board without having to be checked by a person. The technology thus replaces the employees currently present in the airport for each of these steps.
Three years of experimentation were necessary for the airport to have eight self-checking security machines. All the passenger has to do is scan their ID and facial recognition technology makes the connection to their face and follows them throughout their journey through the airport. One of the arguments put forward by authorities is the reduction in the amount of time spent by travellers to go through security, which is now estimated at around 12 seconds. 62 Chinese airports are in the process of adopting this technology.
This technology both speeds up access to transport and increases the efficiency of the police's work, but it also raises questions about individual freedoms. Unlike Europe, which is adapting its regulations to better protect its citizens' data, Chinese Internet users have no protection in this area.
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