The Chinese government's solution to keeping things running smoothly involves strict controls on everything from the Internet to how individuals go about their daily lives. In order to do that, China has setup a network of over 170 million security cameras, all of which are hooked up to an ever-improving facial recognition system. Even the police in China are starting to wear facial recognition glasses!
So it should come as no surprise that the police there just managed to catch a suspected criminal who thought he'd be safe in a crowd of 60,000 people.
As the BBC reports, the man in question is 31-year-old Mr Ao, and he was wanted by the police for "economic crimes," the details of which have now been released. He was caught while attending a Jacky Cheung concert in Nanchang city last weekend. Everyone entering the concert venue must pass by a camera. Mr Ao's face must have been on record as the camera and facial recognition system flagged him up.
The police reacted quickly and surrounded him after he had taken his seat for the concert. Apparently Mr Ao was simply "shocked" he had been found, clearly believing he'd be safe among so many people and at such a busy event. He was wrong, and the authorities don't mind everyone knowing that as it acts as a warning to others.
China's monitoring system works through a combination of cameras, facial recognition, artificial intelligence, and a central database. When a face is detected, the central database is accessed and an individual's details retrieved. Those details can include name, gender, ethnicity, full address, and whether they have been charged with any crimes or have outstanding warrants. In Mr Ao's case, the outstanding warrants details would have triggered the alert.