Technology doesn’t always work perfectly.
In China, there is a single network of 170 million surveillance cameras. Authorities have been testing face recognition systems for years to catch criminals and spy on suspects. The most high-profile cases are often found in the media: in April 2018, the perpetrator was arrested at a concert after learning from a crowd of 70,000 spectators, and in May, they began testing technology in schools to calculate distracted students.
At the end of November, the facial recognition system failed at a traffic light near a pedestrian crossing in Ningbo City. She registered a fine on Chinese businesswoman Dong Mingzhu, although she was not at that intersection. On this drew the attention of the publication Abacus.
Mingzhu – Chinese woman from an advertisement directed against pedestrians who run across the streets and violate traffic rules. Rollers with her twist on banner screens: one of these was installed on the bus, which passed the intersection in Ningbo. The face recognition system fixed the girl’s face from the poster and took her for the perpetrator. When the system writes out a fine, it shows a photo of the person and the signature of the violation, what happened to the Mingzhu.
Chinese users have published a photo where a well-known businesswoman from an advertisement has become a traffic offender. In Weibo (similar to Twitter) they joked that they finally managed to catch the “serious criminal”. Soon, the police admitted the system’s error and stated that it would update it to avoid similar incidents in the future. Prior to that, Ningbo law enforcement authorities said that the new technology allowed fixing 7.8 thousand violations of pedestrians per year.