Chinese city uses facial recognition to shame people wearing pajamas in public

Jan 23, 2020

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Chinese city uses facial recognition to shame people wearing pajamas in public

Jan 23, 2020

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Facial recognition and video surveillance can have different applications, both good and bad. But government officials in a Chinese city decided to use it for the latter. They photographed people wearing pajamas in public and announced their photos to shame them. And as if that weren’t enough, there were also names and other personal data published along with the photos.

On Monday, the officials of Suzhou, Anhui province, published images of people wearing pajamas in the street on the official WeChat account. The officials called it “uncivilized behavior,” arguing that the region was entering a national “civilized city” competition. They further added that residents were banned from wearing pajamas in public. Other than wearing pajamas, other behaviors were publicly shamed too. These included “lying [on a bench] in an uncivilized manner,” and handing out flyers.

As if public shaming weren’t bad enough, the photos also included sensitive data such as names and ID card numbers of the people caught on camera. Naturally, it caused disbelief and criticism. According to the BBC, some people argued that there was nothing wrong with wearing pajamas outside. Others focused on a much bigger problem: by this kind of public shaming, the officials infringed people’s privacy.

The BBC writes that the officials “sincerely apologized” later, but still argues that they wanted to “put an end to uncivilized behavior.” They added that “of course [they] should protect residents’ privacy,” but the damage is done.

Now, wearing pajamas outside isn’t really my style, but I still think it’s not material for public shaming. First of all, there are much worse things that people do and they do deserve shaming. And second, wearing pajamas doesn’t hurt anyone at all. But a much bigger problem here is publicly exposing sensitive data such as personal names and ID numbers. Just imagine the ways they could be misused, and they were published publicly for what? Publicly mocking people for wearing pajamas. I’m pretty sure that this isn’t how facial recognition should be used!

[via BBC]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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11 responses to “Chinese city uses facial recognition to shame people wearing pajamas in public”

  1. Iván Camilo Ospina Avatar
    Iván Camilo Ospina

    “What artwork do you look like?, use Google app to find out, upload your pic this way so you can see!”

  2. Jan Metvs Avatar
    Jan Metvs

    The social credit system at work? #SerpentZA talked about this and I actually kind of understand the reason now (easy way to somewhat control ALL those tiny minions of CCP), BUT… O boy the future is grim and gloomy!

  3. Laura Stilley Tallo Avatar
    Laura Stilley Tallo

    This is similar to the book, “The Giver” when the citizens were publicly chastised ( without mentioning names, though) for breaking a rule.

  4. W Douglas LeBlanc Avatar
    W Douglas LeBlanc

    Grim & Gloomy …

    As a SARS mutation gathers up a global population into it’s diseased maw.

  5. Scott Valentine Avatar
    Scott Valentine

    I’m pretty sure this is the perfect use.

  6. Franco Kailsan Avatar
    Franco Kailsan

    Why can’t we wear our jammies out in public?! I do it all the time!

  7. Wing Tang Wong Avatar
    Wing Tang Wong

    Oh look.. isn’t it hilarious that China can use video + AI to automatically flag people doing a specific action or wearing a specific kind of clothing and systemically track it and then act to discourage it…. nothing freaking scary about that at all…

  8. zep_addict Avatar
    zep_addict

    I think this should be done in every Walmart

  9. Bhavin Shah Avatar
    Bhavin Shah

    Gives people an excuse to wear a mask ? maybe now this will be a new fashion statement.

  10. Chongo Yu Avatar
    Chongo Yu

    needed at Walmart. lol

  11. Mark Nycz Avatar
    Mark Nycz

    Wal-Mart would crash this system haha