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A BBC journalist experienced the Chinese system of urban surveillance. It was found in 7 minutes

One of the 170 million CCTV cameras recognized his face and warned the police.

Shot from the video BBC
Shot from the video BBC

The BBC correspondent in Beijing, John Sudworth (John Sudworth) was able to test the “largest CCTV in the world” – the Chinese CCTV. He tried to hide from the cameras in the Guiyang city district, but the police figured it out in a few minutes.

Sadvort was allowed into the control room, where all the data is displayed on a huge screen. The database contains photographs of all the residents of Guiyang: the BBC reporter was also photographed to make the system “remember” it. Some of the 170 million CCTV cameras have the function of recognizing faces, as well as sex, age and growth. By 2020, the number of cameras is planned to increase to 400 million.

The journalist tried to hide from the surveillance at the station, but it did not help: the system captured the face of Sadvort at the entrance, compared it with the photo and warned the policemen on the spot. In total, the journalist lasted about 7 minutes from the beginning of the experiment.

Chinese policemen stressed that they do not use the data of ordinary people if they do not “need help”. According to them, the system is needed to prevent crimes – on other occasions the townspeople need not worry. However, Sadvort wondered how such a camera tracking network affects freedom and confidentiality.

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