Starting December 1st, 2019, China will make it mandatory for mobile phone users and internet users to access mobile services and online services via facial recognition.
On October 3rd, 2019, Quartz reported that the Chinese state party will make it mandatory in order to go online or use a mobile device in the mainland that you will have to submit to facial recognition. The recognition will then attempt to validate if the face they’re seeing matches a valid Chinese ID within the mainland. This will ensure that those who have poor social credit or are potential criminals will likely be denied service. As explained by Quartz…
“MIIT said the step was part of its efforts to “safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of citizens in the cyberspace” and to control phone and internet fraud. In addition to the facial-recognition test, phone users are also banned from passing their mobile phone numbers to others, and encouraged to check if numbers are registered under their name without their consent.”
This is part of President Xi Jinping’s attempt to create “cyber sovereignty” for China, blocking social media services they don’t want users to access, as well as preventing people from sharing information they don’t want shared.
This would also make it easy for China to curb any kind of social media sharing for events they want squashed, like the Hong Kong protests.
As mentioned by Niche Gamer, there’s already a requirement to have an ID just to access mobile phones and internet service, but now you’ll need a legitimate ID and facial recognition, which means you won’t be able to lift someone else’s ID or use a fake ID or attempt to circumvent the system when it comes to identification in any way.
This also ties into how you play video games as well, given that Tencent titles require access via the facial recognition scan that’s also used with the social credit system.
Basically, everything about you will be tied to every major social and digital system operating in mainland China, from financial services to recreational activities to transportation.
This new mandate is a harrowing look at a terrifying technological future.
(Thanks for the news tip Mugen Tenshin)