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Facial recognition now mandatory for new mobile subscribers in China

Facial recognition now mandatory for new mobile subscribers in China

Reuters reports that a new law came into force in China on 1 December, which requires the country’s mobile operators to take a biometric facial scan of anyone registering new mobile services. The legislation was announced in September, by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), and also requires operators to amend their terms of service and undertake a publicity campaign to make clear that the reselling of SIMs is illegal.

The government has said the moves are to crack down on fraud. Opponents have voiced concerns about the implications for data, privacy and ethics.

Facial recognition technology is used around the world in an increasing variety of ways. In China, it can be used to pay for goods in certain supermarkets, and is used in transit operations such as airports and subway systems.

Read more: Reuters and MobileWorldLive
The FT has produced an opinion piece calling for a wider policy debate on facial recognition. (paywall)

The IIC and Artificial Intelligence

The benefits and challenges afforded by the increasing use of AI has long been debated at IIC events. Our upcoming Telecommunications & Media Forum in Washington DC has a session devoted to the topic. In ‘Keeping pace with the ubiquity of Artificial Intelligence – policy, regulation, ethics, trust’, expert speakers from the Office of Science and Technology Policy, The White House; the News Media Alliance; the Brookings Institution and Microsoft will examine different aspects of the issue.

The IIC’s Director General, Andrea Millwood Hargrave, produced a white paper on AI for a 2018 Symposium on the topic, held in Thailand.

In 2020, the policies surrounding AI will be considered in February, at the three-day Telecoms, Media & Regulatory Forum in Bangkok, Thailand, as well as at a Workshop which will take place in Jakarta, Indonesia. More details about both events can be found here.

  • Wednesday, 04 December 2019

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