We've all seen movies where the law enforcement heroes can find a single bad guy in a massive crowd using security cameras and some clever software. And, until recently, the world of fiction was where such fanciful things belong. But the Chinese government recently tracked down someone wanted over "economic crimes" by finding his face in a massive crowd.
The Chinese government's unfettered ability to track citizens is quite startling. Acting on a tip that the guy they wanted to apprehend was attending a concert, he was found using AI that detected him in a crowd of about 50,000 people. In China, if there's a security camera nearby, you're being tracked.
The South China Morning Post recently reported that China was building a database of cutizens that allow them to identify and track citizens in seconds. Coupled with their new social scoring system that can block people from access to public transport and government services, China's government is armed with a powerful tool for controlling the behaviour of its population.
And while we are all concerned by the influence of sociual media and how the data it collects can be misused, the implications of this sort of technology is far scarier. It can create a world where we are under constant, Orwellian surveillance.