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Beijing unveils crosswalk with biometric facial recognition to catch jaywalkers

Traffic violators’ faces captured and displayed on public video screens
Beijing unveils crosswalk with biometric facial recognition to catch jaywalkers

The City of Beijing has installed a biometric smart crosswalk at an intersection in Zhongguancun, Haidian district, that can send audio and light alerts to pedestrians, ecns reports.

Xu Hui, an official from the Haidian district management committee, told the Beijing Evening News this would be the “the first smart zebra crossing in Beijing that can alert pedestrians through voice alerts and lights.”

The new system also uses facial recognition technology to catch traffic violators and display their faces on public video screens, alongside their IDs, on a screen next to the road.

The technology has been used in China before, with similar face biometric systems spotted in Ji’nan, Shandong Province and Nanjing, Jiangsu Province.

The move has sparked privacy concerns, which were addressed in Ji’nan by the city by blurring the violators’ faces before posting them on the screens. The middle digits of their ID numbers were also concealed to limit the exposure of the perpetrators’ identities to the public.

Facial recognition has been used since 2018 to catch traffic violators elsewhere in Beijing’s Haidian district. A district worker was quoted as saying this has caused a reduction of red light jumpers since the installation of the system.

More recently, an advisory committee suggested smart lamp posts in Beijing should not include cameras.

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