A face in the crowd

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By CHENG YINGQI

Po­lice are al­ready us­ing fron­tier tech­nolo­gies such as drones, 3-D print­ing and cloud com­put­ing in the fight against crime, and now it’s the turn of face-recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy. While crim­i­nals are busy us­ing tech­nol­ogy to try and hack into bank ac­counts, the po­lice are watch­ing them via cam­eras dis­trib­uted through­out cities.

“If you have watched the US TV se­ries Per­son of In­ter­est, you may have been as­ton­ished by face-recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy that can rec­og­nize a mo­bile im­age in an open en­vi­ron­ment in real time. Al­though the cur­rent tech­nol­ogy is still lim­ited to the amount of light that falls on the mon­i­tored ob­ject and its ori­en­ta­tion, real-time mon­i­tor­ing tech­nol­ogy as de­scribed on the pro­gram is not far-fetched,” said Mei Lin, direc­tor of the Cy­ber Phys­i­cal Sys­tem R&D Cen­ter at the Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity’s Third Re­search In­sti­tute.

In Oc­to­ber, the use of fac­ere­cog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy al­lowed po­lice in Xi’an, the cap­i­tal of Shaanxi prov­ince, to de­tain a sus­pected thief in

Mei Lin,

just 10 min­utes.

In Au­gust, po­lice in Kun­shan, a city in Jiangsu prov­ince, used the tech­nol­ogy to iden­tify and ar­rest a sus­pect who had been on the run for eight years. Mean­while, cam­eras in Shang­hai iden­ti­fied a man sus­pected of em­bez­zling 90 mil­lion yuan ($13 mil­lion) be­fore flee­ing the coun­try in 1999, when he re­turned to the city last year us­ing a fake iden­tity.

“With sev­eral years’ ac­cu­mu­la­tion of tech­nol­ogy, we have de­vel­oped a set of prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ences that even some multi­na­tional tech com­pa­nies don’t pos­sess,” Mei said, adding that the in­sti­tute is con­cen­trat­ing on tech­nolo­gies such as in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity and the in­ter­net of things.

“Video sur­veil­lance has been fully im­ple­mented in ar­eas such as pub­lic se­cu­rity, ur­ban traf­fic, hy­dro­logic mon­i­tor­ing and oth­ers. China’s large pop­u­la­tion pro­vides us with a broad test­ing ground,” he said.

Mei and his col­leagues at the in­sti­tute are de­vel­op­ing a su­per-large data­base for pub­lic se­cu­rity ap­pli­ca­tions to serve the mu­tual in­ter­ests of po­lice, re­searchers and com­pa­nies.

On Nov 28, the Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity pub­lished an ex­po­sure draft to reg­u­late the collection, trans­fer, use, stor­age and pro­cess­ing of pub­lic video im­ages.

The draft also bans sur­veil­lance in ar­eas that may vi­o­late per­sonal pri­vacy.

Wang Xiaol­ing, a pro­fes­sor at the School of Com­puter Sci­ence and Soft­ware En­gi­neer­ing at East China Nor­mal Uni­ver­sity, said pub­lic video im­ages will be sub­jected to clas­si­fied pro­cess­ing be­fore be­ing re­leased to gov­ern­ment de­part­ments.

“The data is stored in a cloud that al­lows dif­fer­ent lev­els of ac­cess, de­pend­ing on the per­son. For ex­am­ple, clas­si­fied videos that con­tain State se­crets have the high­est level of pro­tec­tion. Videos that con­tain trade se­crets are sub­ject to lim­ited con­trols, and gen­eral sur­veil­lance video footage is pro­cessed to erase per­sonal fea­tures and pro­tect peo­ple’s pri­vacy,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to a doc­u­ment pub­lished last year, video sur­veil­lance will cover all key pub­lic ar­eas and busi­nesses in the coun­try, and the cov­er­age of high-def­i­ni­tion mon­i­tor­ing will be ex­panded dur­ing the next few years.

cy­ber­se­cu­rity ex­pert

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.