A novelty to user experience, which previously had to upload the photo of their ID cards
China maintains its focus on technological security. In fact, the Shenzhen police added an upgrade to its WeChat service, allowing users to access the app by scanning the face, rather than with a simple password.
Despite the innovation, however, the process is not necessarily shorter. In fact, to perform the different operations, several seconds are required: about 40 to record and upload a short video of a person’s face and another 30 to access each time later.
Previously the user had to upload the photo of their ID cards. Furthermore, the new upgrade marks a new step in the growing integration between government, citizen data and private technology companies.
It is not the first time that Shenzhen has relied on facial recognition to improve the user experience
Shenzhen, in particular, is one of those cities that in recent years has already invested heavily in facial recognition. For example, the city has already used facial recognition on certain road intersections to identify and overcome the ‘jaywalker’ problem (irresponsibly crossing the street). Moreover, these systems are laying the groundwork for a wider control system that can encourage legal behaviour by punishing those who violate the rules.
Biometric data is becoming increasingly omnipresent in Chinese law enforcement agencies. An interesting fact regarding the new upgrade on the WeChat of the Shenzhen police, is the fact that it was solicited by users willing, rather than implemented as a mandatory security measure.
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