China is Putting Facial Recognition Systems in Bathrooms

China is Putting Facial Recognition Systems in Bathrooms

China has taken its intrusion into people’s private lives one step further by installing facial recognition software in public restrooms in a park in Beijing to limit how much toilet paper people use, the BBC reported.

The machines will register a person’s face in the Temple of Heaven Park and dispense 24 inches of toilet paper (which has been upgraded to two-ply) to the person. They won’t dispense more until after nine minutes have passed.

In the event that you are having an emergency in the bathroom (e.g., diarrhea), there is a staff person on hand who will respond to your cries for help.

“If we encounter guests who have diarrhea or any other situation in which they urgently require toilet paper, then our staff on the ground will directly provide the toilet paper,” explained a park spokesperson.

How generous of them.

The Washington Post noted that the software is supposed to scan a person’s face in three seconds, but in reality it can take up to 30 seconds for the technology to work.

In theory, this technology is supposed to stop people from taking the toilet paper home with them, though this seems a bit extreme just for a few rolls of toilet paper.

CNN noted that many Chinese will leave their own homes to use a public bathroom. In fact, many Chinese people who were interviewed about this new software didn’t seem to mind it because they thought it would cut down on the abuse of public services.

The Chinese government is probably also using this software for some nefarious purpose, though how the bathroom habits of Chinese citizens could be used to predict their political behavior is beyond me.

This sort of technology most likely won’t ever reach American shores, but if it ever did, it’s something to be worried about. Almost all technology is hackable, so the potential for this system to be abused is considerable.

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H/T BizPac Review