Chinese government start-up expands its plans to use powerful facial recognition technology to spy on ‘anyone, anywhere’ without them ever knowing

Tuesday, July 10, 2018
By Paul Martin

Megvii’s eerie Face++ AI accurately identifies people by their facial features
It has been used by Chinese police to track down fugitives in large crowds
The Beijing company announced it has secured a distributor in Thailand
It has secured a deal with tech firm Vivo to make 3D models of people’s heads

10 July 2018

A creepy surveillance start-up backed by the Chinese government is expanding its artificial intelligence-powered face-reading operations.

Beijing firm Megvii has announced it is shifting its powerful Face++ facial recognition technology beyond China after securing a distributor in Thailand.

Megvii’s world-leading Face++ technology uses AI to identify people by their facial features, allowing police to spy on ‘anyone, anywhere’ without them knowing.

The software has already been used by Chinese police departments to arrest more than 3,000 fugitives by instantly scanning crowds of thousands in busy cities.

The company says its software has many potential uses beyond law enforcement, including in financial services, retail, and identity verification.

Worth an estimated £1.5 billion ($2 billion) according to Business Insider, Megvii announced recently it had appointed a distributor in Thailand.

The start-up – founded by three Tsinghua University graduates in 2011 – is in talks with commercial banks and building managers to deploy its facial recognition software.

Buildings that incorporate the technology could do away with ID cards by instead having Face++ scan people’s faces as they enter the premises.

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