China’s facial recognition technology broke boundaries in 2015 when Beijing’s Tsinghua University and Hangzhou-based security company Tzekwan Technology developed a prototype to help reduce ATM crimes.
Recent reports from East China’s Jiangxi say the province has started installations of the technology in all cyber cafes.
The aim is to stop teenagers below 18 from gaining access to public internet bars which is widely used for online gaming, movies and pornography.
Every internet user’s National ID will be verified and registered together with internet history which shall serve as evidence against all offenders–young and old.
The facial recognition software installed in over 5,000 internet cafes will ping the police and retain evidence once a child logs in to public computer systems.
Laws in China banned internet cafes from allowing anyone below the age of 18 since 2002. However, young people still make their way to cyber cafes though every customer was required to show ID before a pass is issued.
Teenagers cheat cyber managers by using fake ID’s or by paying tips in order to be allowed.
The government says the internet cafes, after the facial recognition machines are installed, will use technology rather than human check to implement the regulation. The process is expected to be completed by the end of October with a trial run carried out in November.
Reports confirm the media has been reporting against cyber cafes allowing children to access their computers.
One recent case of a middle school boy aged 16 who paid around $13,000 for live sex chats with a model, made headlines around China.
The boy whose name was not disclosed for security reasons, kept transferring cash over a period of 6 months only to watch the model undress and perform sex acts.
He was busted by the police, who used him as a bet until the prostitute was arrested.
In addition, another middle school student named Zhou had to skip classes so he could surf the internet and play video games. On Oct 19, 2015, he spent about seven hours playing games before passing out at the cyber cafe. He later died in Hongze county, Huaian city of East China’s Jiangsu province.
On Dec 28, 2014, a 17-year-old boarding school student Xiao Lei, alias, went to an internet cafe with friends after drinking and fainted at 3.32 am in front of the computer before dying two hours later in Liuzhou, South China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.