SenseTime: Masking does not prevent facial recognition19. February 2020
SenseTime: Masking does not prevent facial recognition
Beijing, February 19, 2020
The most valuable startup, SenseTime, recently announced that its facial recognition software contains thermal imaging cameras and can therefore identify people with elevated temperatures. An additional mask algorithm could also be used to identify those who do not wear masks in public places. The software can also be used for building access control. It identifies people wearing masks with “high accuracy.” The statement emphasizes that managers “can use these methods to obtain a comprehensive range of information on epidemic prevention. These are data on: body temperature, mask wear status and employee identity.
SenseTime also announced that its fever detection system will be used in three public places. In the meantime, when employees who have worked at home return to their offices, it will be of crucial importance for office buildings in the coming weeks that these employees can also be identified with masks when they enter the building. “The system, which applies to office building entrances, reads the uncovered facial features, including eyes, eyebrows and parts of the nose bridge, to identify employees,” the company said.
Many fear that the corona virus will give authorities the opportunity to use facial recognition surveillance to penetrate their lives ever deeper. For example, a user at the Social-Madia platform Weibo revealed the following practice: “Every day, more technology companies in China are introducing unusual monitoring combinations such as face recognition + big data and remote monitoring + real-time warnings to control the outbreak”. For him, this is “an example of how technical advances creep into our lives with an excuse like the virus”. Finally he asks: “What is the limit to people’s privacy?”