Facial recognition triggers nationwide debate in China

Questions asked about how technology used

People in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province, can now use the subway through facial recognition technology.

Introduced in September, facial recognition is available to passengers who link their online payment systems to the subway’s smartphone app.

However, one traveller, Feng Yi, 25, who works for a tourism company in the city, voiced his concerns. “I feel uncomfortable because I don’t know why the company is using my facial details, or whether they will be leaked,” he said.

“Scanning people’s faces in public places makes me feel unsafe, especially when the technology is being adopted elsewhere, such as banks, colleges and hotels.”

He also questioned the need to collect facial information, saying that when he registered online accounts, he provided his phone and identity card numbers and his fingerprints. “I can hardly refuse to use the technology, as it is a precondition or obligatory for using some apps,” he added.

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