Shenzhen uses facial recognition to catch, shame jaywalkers

Occurred: March 2018

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Authorities in Shenzhen, China, have launched CCTV cameras incorporating facial recognition and artificial intelligence linked to a database in a bid to crack down on jaywalking, traffic violations, and other crimes. 

Built by local technology company IntelliFusion, the DeepEye system captures images of people illegally crossing the road, identifies the citizen against a database and displays their photo alongside their family name and part of their government identification number on a roadside LED screen and government website. 

According to a Shenzhen government official, 'a combination of technology and psychology… can greatly reduce instances of jaywalking and will prevent repeat offences.'

The move has prompted some locals and commentators to express their concerns about the intrusivess of the system, and its potential for deepening and expanding state surveillance.

Local media report that jaywalking and other crimes added to the system also potentially damage one's score in China's 'social credit system'. 

Operator: Shenzhen Traffic Police Bureau
Developer: Intellifusion

Country: China

Sector: Govt - municipal; Govt - police

Purpose: Identify jaywalkers, criminals

Technology: Facial recognition; Automated license plate/number recognition (ALPR/ANPR)
Issue: Privacy; Surveillance

Transparency: Governance

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: March 2023