A Chinese facial recognition technology that can ID people wearing masks is suspected of being used for greater electronic surveillance and invasion of privacy of people around the world.
The company, Hanwang Technology Ltd also known as Hanvon, claims that its technology was made to help government agencies combat the coronavirus. But others are skeptical about the intentions of the company. The facial recognition technology has been in development for over ten years, a decade before the coronavirus outbreak. The timing of the technology’s release in the market and the intention of the company to attach its technology to the coronavirus outbreak seems questionable and should be taken with caution.
The company announced that their technology has kinks that need to be ironed out For example, it struggles to identify people that are wearing both masks and sunglasses. This leads us to question, why they released the software to the public if it is not 100% market-ready. Companies and establishments who want to use the technology will have to upload their database for the system to work. This poses a big risk to exposing important personal, financial and other important information. Privacy violations are big factors to consider.