Biometric Surveillance Normalization in China Could Spread, Brookings Warns

A new investigation by the New York Times has revealed how China is conducting biometric mass surveillance on a scale even broader than previously understood. Personal data, including DNA, facial scans and voice biometrics are being collected in a push to “maximize what the state can find out about a person’s identity, activities and social connections, which could ultimately help the government maintain its authoritarian rule,” according to the Times’ analysis. Analysts examined more than a hundred thousand government bidding documents, and found that Chinese authorities had requested access to cameras in public and private spaces, including lobbies of the Days Inn and Marriott brand hotels. A police estimate in the bidding documents put the number of facial images stored at any given time at 2.5 billion.”

Published by markskidmore

Mark Skidmore is Professor of Economics at Michigan State University where he holds the Morris Chair in State and Local Government Finance and Policy. His research focuses on topics in public finance, regional economics, and the economics of natural disasters. Mark created the Lighthouse Economics website and blog to share economic research and information relevant for navigating tumultuous times.

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