China Introduces Facial Recognition When Getting A New Mobile Number

Harin - Oct 09, 2019


China Introduces Facial Recognition When Getting A New Mobile Number

For every new mobile number, a citizen needs to provide the telecom service provider their facial recognition data during the application process.

The Chinese government has been known for its tight censorship over its citizens. The country has been deploying facial recognition systems to monitor its citizens in public.

However, this new rule takes the whole surveillance thing to a whole new level.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in China has introduced a new rule which will come into effect starting from December 1. With this new regulation, for every new mobile number, a citizen needs to provide the telecom service provider their facial recognition data during the application process.

China Face ScanChina-face-scan-mobile-number Mobile Number
For every new mobile number, a citizen needs to provide the telecom service provider their facial recognition data during the application process.

The data will reportedly be used for the verification of the applicant’s ID card. MIIT issued the directive on September 27.

And according to MIIT, this action is for safeguarding “the legitimate rights and interests of citizens in cyberspace” and limiting internet scams. The action is said to help improve the nation’s internet security and combat terrorism.

Moreover, registering phone numbers prevent users from sharing their numbers with other people as well as preventing their numbers from being registered without their consent.

China is not the only country to use biometric data for the issue of SIM cards. In India, users also get SIM cards with the fingerprints they give when registering for their Aadhar cards.

During the process of registering for a new SIM card, an applicant will be asked to give their fingerprint, address, and IDs, which authenticates whether it is the same person on the ID or not.

Jio was the first telecom provider to start this in 2016. While the situation in India isn’t as nearly as bad as China, Indians’ personal biometric information is still linked to a database. There have been cases of Aadhar data gotten into the hands of wrongdoers.

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