China is far ahead of the world in terms of surveillance. It is using surveillance in unprecedented and from the Western perspective, draconian ways. Despite this, it is doubling down on the technology in even more invasive ways.
Chinese researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) based 500-megapixel camera which will identify people in the crowd. This will massively boost the country's already large surveillance arsenal.
The researchers claim that the camera is so accurate that it can "capture thousands of faces in a stadium in perfect detail and generate cloud data while targeting a single individual's face." In other words, it will be able to click a panoramic picture of a crowd in which every face is clear. It will then use a facial recognition based on AI to isolate and analyse each face and locate a certain one it needs.
The device has been developed by the Shanghai based Fudan University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun, according to the Chinese publication, Global Times.
The device the country claims has been designed, keeping "national security" in mind. It claims it will station it at military bases, satellite launching stations and national borders to prevent "suspicious activities."
The country has already floated a facial recognition system, which piggybacks on its social credit system. It employs a nationwide facial recognition system that surveys 1.4 billion people and ranks them on their behaviour.
The system will go into service next year and will let the state differentiate between individuals with low scores and ones with high scores. The low-scored ones will have trouble getting government jobs and travelling, while high scoring people will get extra privileges.
The country has also announced that it will create a similar ranking for 30 million companies working on its soil, entrenching the Communist Party's control over the economy.
Given the current situation in Hong Kong, this seems a tool that can help prevent or suppress any kind of dissent.
It is also rumoured to be using a similar system to target Uyghur Muslims in its Xinjiang province.