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Chinese tech companies seek to standardize facial recognition

Chinese tech companies seek to standardize facial recognition
Chinese consumers are increasingly wary of commercial facial recognition systems. (Picture: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

China might seem forward-thinking when it comes to facial recognition, but not everyone is happy about their face being scanned multiple times a day. Reports suggest people are growing concerned about being subjected to commercial facial recognition systems without consent, so Chinese tech companies are stepping up to standardize the industry.

The National Standardization Group for Facial Recognition Technology was established on November 20th with local AI giant SenseTime elected to lead the group, SenseTime announced on Wednesday. The group includes 27 other tech companies, including Alibaba’s Ant Financial, Tencent, Xiaomi, Dahua, PingAn and iFlytek.

The organization aims to develop standards and specifications to ensure safety and accuracy, as well as guide the healthy and rapid development of the technology, according to SenseTime.

Commercial facial recognition has brought conveniences like fast payments and security authentication. However, the industry has also been marred by data theft, a lack of standards and other risks, including online sellers offering ways to defeat facial recognition systems. China had its first facial recognition lawsuit this month after a law professor was forced to opt in to a facial recognition system to enter a zoo.

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