China's social credit: Everyone gives Chicoms photos of their faces ... to see the zoo
To go to a zoo and see the gorillas in socialist China, you've got some pre-conditions to fulfill first. You now have to give them a print of your face. And if you're a passholder, you'd better give it or else, because No Refunds.
That's what's prompted some pushback from a guy in Hangzhou, who's launched what's a probably hopeless lawsuit to protest the Orwellian practice, which falls into the same sort of doings that come with China's social credit system.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
BEIJING—A Chinese law professor has raised a rare legal challenge over how facial-recognition technology is deployed in a country where surveillance cameras are increasingly part of everyday life.
Guo Bing accused a wildlife park and zoo in the eastern technology hub of Hangzhou of violating his consumer rights by requiring members to register their faces as part of a new entrance system. On Friday, a court in Hangzhou accepted Mr. Guo’s case.
In October, Hangzhou Safari Park told members with annual passes, including Mr. Guo, that new facial-recognition technology had replaced the existing fingerprint-identification method, according to the lawsuit. Those who didn’t register wouldn’t be allowed to enter.
The park refused to issue full refunds to those who balked at the new requirements, the suit said. That prompted Mr. Guo, who teaches law at Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, to sue the park, alleging it violated China’s consumer-protection law by requiring the collection of sensitive data without seeking permission from pass-holders beforehand.
The park “forced the collection of the plaintiff’s personal biometric information by upgrading the annual card system without consent,” the lawsuit said. “Once leaked, illegal misuse will easily endanger the safety of consumers and their property.”
Which rather raises questions about how many places are out there in China collecting face prints, presumably for the internal organs to use to identify dissidents. The Journal reports that China's social-credit system is using facial recognition technology all over the place to identify dissidents, and in Xinjiang, all you have to do is live there to have your face print on record, stamped everywhere you go, not just on an I.D, card, all in the hands of the authorities. The Hong Kongers protesting Chicom rule in the streets are fighting a lot of this with masks, which the Chicoms and their camera armies, are forbidding.
It's not only an unparallelled use of social control by a hideous commie state intent on making Orwell's dream real, it's hardly confined to China's borders. How much of this creepy stuff is getting into the Made-in-China tech devices over here? Already there are reports that it's quite a lot.
Which made me want to look up the gushy praise of China that once came out of President Obama's golf buddy, New York Times columnist-cum-deep thinker, Thomas Friedman. He once praised China to the high heavens, and come to think of it, so did Obama.
Much to my surprise, and to his credit, he's changed his tune and now says China has evolved into a Brave New World monster.
He now writes that he hates President Trump of course, but he also thinks the Chicoms actually deserve Trump based on the kind of stuff they're up to:
As a result, all China’s subsidies, protectionism, cheating on trade rules, forced technology transfers and stealing of intellectual property since the 1970s became a much greater threat. If the U.S. and Europe allowed China to continue operating by the same formula that it had used to grow from poverty to compete for all the industries of the future, we’d be crazy. Trump is right about that.
So now China's social credit system is so creepy you can't only be denied a train ticket or a visa if you don't please the authorities, you can actually be told you can't go to the zoo. This is socialism, advanced. One can only hope the little professor wins, or, as he says, he at least gets the attention he wants this disgusting practice to get.
Image credit: tOrange.biz // CC BY-SA 4.0