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Facial Recognition Installed in Many Stores in China; Personal Data Accessed

On March 15, 2021, China Central Television (CCTV) reported that many stores have had monitors installed. Because of facial recognition, this has allowed access to the customers’ personal information. According to one of the companies that installed the monitors for those stores, the amount of facial recognition data collected is in the range of hundreds of millions.

It has been reported that such monitors are almost ubiquitous in China. Monitors installed in some stores seem to be harmless but they contain facial recognition systems and the stores secretly access data without informing the customers.

CCTV has visited more than 20 stores across the country that are equipped with facial recognition systems. These stores have all secretly accessed the facial recognition data collected from their customers. They include stores of well-known foreign companies such as Kohler, BMW, and 4S Stores in Shenzhen, Wuxi and Max Mara.

As soon as customers enter a store that has a facial recognition monitor, their faces will be captured and identification numbers automatically generated, without their knowledge. For a chain store, the store will know which location the customer goes to and how many times they have been there.

Companies that help these stores install monitors with facial recognition include Suzhou Wandianzhang Internet Technology Co., Ltd., Yoluoke Electronic Technology Co., Ltd., Guangzhou Yaliang Smart Technology Co., Ltd., and Shenzhen Ruiwei Information Technology Co., Ltd.

According to Suzhou Wandianzhang Internet Technology Co., Ltd., it has installed millions of monitors with facial recognition and its database contains hundreds of millions of records that the stores have collected.

Source: China Central Television, March 15, 2021