China, Facial Recognition, law enforcement, surveillance, Tech

Chinese police use facial recognition to catch suspect in a huge crowd

Looks like the Chinese surveillance state is really up and running, guys!

Chinese state news agency ECNS reported Thursday that police used facial recognition-enabled cameras to catch a criminal suspect amongst a crowd of 60,000 concert-goers. Cool!

The suspect, identified as Mr. Ao, was wanted “in connection with an economic dispute.” Ao and his wife had traveled about 55 miles to see a Hong Kong pop star, Jacky Cheung, in concert at the Nanchang International Sports Center. Facial recognition cameras identified him at the concert’s entrance, and police apprehended Ao amidst the crowd.

It’s not the first time facial recognition has been used to catch criminal suspects in China, according to ECNS. But the precision of the catch — the ability to identify and apprehend an individual within a huge crowd — is something multiple state media outlets reported.

In the past, Chinese police used facial recognition to arrest 25 “fugitives” at a beer festival. Sad! Facial recognition has also been deployed in the subways, where police reportedly caught three suspects over a span of nine days.

The BBC reports that China has “been building what it calls “the world’s biggest camera surveillance network,” with an estimated 170 million CCTV cameras up and running, and 400 million new ones to be installed over the next three years.

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