The base with “gigabytes” of information – names, nationalities and ID-card numbers – could be used by anyone.
The Alibaba Cloud cloud platform contained a database of residents of at least two districts of Beijing, collected using a face recognition system. The base was discovered by cybersecurity expert John Wetington, who told TechCrunch about this to keep the information safe.
The database contains enough data to accurately determine where the person went, when and how much time he spent. Anyone who has access to the database, including the police, could get an idea of the daily life of a particular person.from TechCrunch
Data on Alibaba Cloud was stored without any password. Journalists among other things found in the database information about the location of street “smart” cameras in two districts of the city.
The database also indicated the names of people, data on nationality and membership in ethnic groups (up to the designations of the Han Chinese and Uighurs), identification numbers (ID), their age, gender and ” social rating “. Several times TechCrunch met the label “drug addict” or “released from prison.”
The system, which was accessed by journalists, is able to monitor computers and smartphones with Wi-Fi support using sensors from the Chinese company Renzixing. They are installed throughout the area. The fields in the device registration table imply that the system can collect IMEI and IMSI to identify the owner, concluded the edition.
An Alibaba spokesperson told TechCrunch that he was not responsible for keeping the database open to the public because the service user posted it. “We always recommend that customers protect the data,” – said the press service of the company.
But after the publication contacted Alibaba, access to the database was limited. The company said that it informed customers about what happened to “immediately” solve the problem. Who exactly posted the information of the inhabitants of Beijing is unknown.
The facial recognition system in China has been operating since 2015. According to the authorities, technology helps to search for missing persons and to catchcriminals. Critics of this system insist that the government thus interferes in their personal space.