FB pixel

Chinese official says facial recognition in hotels is hurting tourism

Proposal recommends a cooldown on FRT to address complaints and prioritize privacy
Chinese official says facial recognition in hotels is hurting tourism

A top Chinese tourism official wants the country’s hospitality industry to pull back on facial recognition and prioritize the privacy of travelers, according to a report in the South China Morning Post.

Most hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts in China now perform biometric facial scans as part of the check-in process. And yet, “there are no specific laws, administrative regulations, or formal written departmental rules that mandate the installation of facial recognition devices in hotels.”

So says Dai Bin, who is president of the China Tourism Academy and a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a senior political advisory body for the Chinese Communist Party. He cites complaints from tourists as evidence that the sector’s embrace of facial recognition has overshot legal boundaries for purposeful use.

“Local legislation, government regulations, and departmental rules must not exceed the scope defined by the law,” says Dai, in a formal proposal to the government. “No local authority or department can introduce restrictions on citizens’ rights to travel, tourism, and consumption without proper legal basis and formal authorization.”

There are draft rules afoot, released in August by the Cyberspace Administration of China, which say that facial recognition must only be used “where there is a specific purpose and clear necessity, and strict protective measures are implemented.” However, with the technology more widely and cheaply available than ever, enforcement could be a challenge, especially as facial recognition continues to proliferate across sectors.

The draft rules are aimed at hotels and banks, but also target the misuse of facial recognition in transport facilities, sports venues, museums, libraries and other public facilities – a good indication of how embedded the use of face biometrics has become in Chinese society, with deployments in resorts, theme parks, airports and crowded tourist sites.

Dai’s proposal requests an investigation into how security agencies mandate and manage facial recognition for hotel operators, and a recommendation to factor in the potential increased cost and reduction in quality of service that can result from such rules.

Article Topics

 |   |   |   |   |   | 

Latest Biometrics News


Who is looking out for your data? Security in an era of wide-spread breaches

By Vince Graziani, CEO, Idex Biometrics While some of the biggest businesses in the world now rely heavily on data, concern…


ITL’s Alerts App expands biometric portfolio to integrated venue management

Businesses from every sector all face access control challenges to ensure the security and safety of their staff and customers….


Best biometrics use cases become clearer as ecosystems mature

Biometrics are for digital identity, socio-economic development, air travel and remote identity verification, but not public surveillance, the most-read news…


UK Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner role survives as DPDI fails

UK parliament will not pass data protection legislation during the current session, following the announcement of the general election in…


EU watchdog rules airport biometrics must be passenger-controlled to comply with GDPR

The use of facial recognition to streamline air passenger’s travel journeys only complies with Europe’s data protection regulations in certain…


NZ’s biometric code of practice could worsen privacy: Business group

New Zealand is working on creating a biometrics Code of Practice as the country introduces more facial recognition applications. A…


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Read This Week

Featured Company

Biometrics Insight, Opinion

Digital ID In-Depth

Biometrics White Papers

Biometrics Events