Sometimes, you just want to be the anonymous face in a crowd. Especially if you‘re on the lam.
China’s facial recognition tech catches fugitive at huge pop concert
But it’s not as simple as that in China.
Chinese police have arrested a fugitive after facial recognition technology singled him out from a crowd of about 50,000 people attending a pop concert.
The wanted man was detained while attending a show by Hong Kong pop star Jacky Cheung last week in the city of Nanchang, southeast Jiangxi province, Kankan News reported.
The 31-year-old fugitive, who is wanted for unspecified economic crimes, was said to be in shock when police took him away, according to the report.
He had driven 56 miles from a neighboring city just to see the concert with his wife.
He was quoted as saying he felt safe among such a huge crowd, and would never have gone to the concert if he had known the police were capable of identifying him.
China is viewed as the world leader in adopting facial recognition technology for various uses, including law enforcement.
China’s Ministry of Public Security has created a powerful facial recognition system that has raised privacy and abuse concerns.
From travel and retail to banking, China’s facial-recognition systems are becoming part of daily life.
Uses of facial recognition technology in China include people paying at some restaurants or boarding planes after their faces are scanned for identification.
Jacky Cheung is one of Hong Kong’s biggest pop stars and has been on a world tour since 2016, performing more than 140 concerts across China and the rest of the world.
In his hit song “Goodbye Kiss,” Cheung sings:
“In a single moment, I find your face / has become unfamiliar / and it will never be like it was before.”
Perhaps the fugitive Ao could have taken a lesson or two from his pop idol.