Are China’s hotels overusing facial recognition technology?

In addition to providing identification documents at check-in, authorities now require tourists in China to submit to facial recognition scans during registration

Mar 5, 2024

China’s public security sector should scrap mandates that require hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts to use facial recognition for registrations to protect the privacy and data security of travelers, a top political advisory body delegate has proposed. Most of China’s tourist accommodation providers now use facial recognition systems, according to China Tourism Academy president Dai Bin.

Key takeaways

  • Dai said public security departments nationwide should scrap their requirements for tourists to undergo facial recognition check-ins at hotels and stop using the software and hardware devices;
  • The use of facial recognition devices is booming in China, enabling retail payments, building access and identity verification at airports. Draft rules issued in August were intended to tighten the rules on the use of the technology, amid growing public concerns about its excessive use;
  • Facial recognition technology should only be used for processing identity information “where there is a specific purpose and clear necessity, and strict protective measures are implemented”, according to rules drafted by the Cyberspace Administration of China, the country’s cyberspace regulator.

Get the full story at South China Morning Post

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