Beijing wants people to use only real identities online but there is concern over data collection.
“People in China are now required to have their faces scanned when registering new mobile phone services, as the authorities seek to verify the identities of the country’s hundreds of millions of internet users.”
It’s creepy. Face scans are another step on a path to a terrifying totalitarian state that is starting to make George Orwell’s 1984 nightmare look mild in comparison.
Two things worry me abut this development. First, China could be paving the way for other governments to do something similar. In the West this may be pitched as some kind of protection from terrorism or crime, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be abused.
Second, it may not be secure. It’s bad enough for abusive totalitarian or even nominally democratic governments to use this technology to keep tabs on people, but what if criminals get their hands on it? Say if violent men use it to stalk women. We know that already happens with technologies like police car registration plate databases.