Three metro stations in Guangzhou are currently testing a new security measure: facial recognition software. According to Guangzhou Daily, Zhujiang New Town Station, Jiahe Wanggang Station and Wanshengwei Station all offer commuters traveling without baggage a ‘quick security check’ via a facial recognition booth.
It’s presently unclear if – or when – the facial recognition security scheme will be rolled out across the rest of Guangzhou’s metro system. It's also unclear whether the system is open to foreigners.
According to SupChina, developers have stated that the system is intended to help speed up the security check process. In one video of a facial recognition machine, two people pass through the gated booth in nine seconds.
Guangzhou Daily cites an unnamed spokesperson from Jiadu Technology, the company developing the F-R scheme, as stating: “(This system) will combine the internet, QR codes, biological identification and big data analysis to sort passengers into different categories.”
According to reports, the face scans will match each commuter’s face with database records to determine a given person’s biological information and address, among other details.
While Guangzhou Metro is the first subway system in China to dabble with facial recognition software, this sophisticated technology has been rolled out elsewhere: in Shenzhen, authorities are using F-R tech to bust jaywalkers, bad drivers and even to weed out cheaters at China's yearly high-stakes exam, the gaokao.
Back in Guangzhou, netizens have expressed mixed feelings about the facial recognition tests, with one Weibo user writing, “Waste of money and waste of effort,” according to SupChina.
With files from Krishna Barot.
[Cover image via Guangzhou Daily/Weibo]