Beijing, facial recognition to buy a SIM card

Until now, an identity card was sufficient for a contract with a telephone operator. According to some, the measure will serve to block telephone scams. For others, this is a new step towards total population control. The contradictions of the "People's Daily".

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) – The Chinese government yesterday introduced the law that a person who buys a SIM card or makes a telephone contract must be registered with facial recognition. Until now, similar contracts were signed with the use of an identity card.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the measure would serve to curb the SIM card under-counter trade and prevent the identity of registered customers from being stolen.

There have been various online comments on the measure: some say that it will be useful to block phone scams; others think this is a new step towards total population control.

Already in the country there is total traceability in the use of mobile phones and the internet: for every online registration you have to give your real identity.

China stores data on the population, without communicating the way in which it is used and in the country there is no law on the improper use of such information.

Facial recognition data has become a trade opportunity, partly because many providers have long been acquiring data on facial recognition, even before the government imposed it. The "People's Daily" reported that in at least one case, 5,000 facial recognition items were put up for sale for 10 yuan each on the internet. According to the Chinese Communist Party newspaper, the population should have the right to choose whether or not to adhere to facial recognition. But apparently now it is the government itself that demands it, without asking for any permission.