China’s law enforcement expands use of facial recognition glasses

Police are using them outside of Beijing ahead of Parliament's annual meeting.

Police in China are expanding their use of facial recognition glasses. Last month, law enforcement in the country used LLVision Technology's facial recognition glasses to spot criminals evading the law or train and plane passengers using fake IDs among the millions traveling for the lunar new year. Now, Reuters reports, police are using them to check travelers and car registration plates outside of Beijing ahead of Parliament's annual meeting in the city.

The glasses are being used to check people and registration plates against a centralized "blacklist" that the government compiles. Along with the facial recognition glasses, the government is also using facial scanners to monitor those entering the venue for the meeting.

Many are concerned with the growing use of ever-more sophisticated surveillance technology throughout China and many worry that the blacklist will contain not only criminals, but political dissidents, journalists and human rights activists as well. "(China's) leadership once felt a degree of trepidation over the advancement of the internet and communication technologies," David Bandurski, co-director of the University of Hong Kong's China Media Project, told Reuters. "It now sees them as absolutely indispensable tools of social and political control."