The Chinese government has wholeheartedly embraced surveillance technology to exercise control over its citizenry in ways both big and small. It’s facial-scanning passers-by to arrest criminals at train stations, gas pumps, and sports stadiums and broadcasting the names of individual jaywalkers. Government-maintained social credit scores affect Chinese citizens’ rights and privileges if they associate with dissidents. In Tibet and Xinjiang, the government is using facial recognition and big data to surveil the physical movements of ethnic minorities, individually and collectively, to predict and police demonstrations before they even start. China is even using facial recognition to prevent the overuse of toilet paper in some public bathrooms.
The above excerpt was originally published in Slate.
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