China wants to use the vast amounts of data it has been collecting for years to create a surveillance system that would search through the data collected on citizens’ daily activities and identify patterns that could predict when crimes or protests are likely to happen.
Leaked documents showed that this automated surveillance will create profiles that include gender, race, biometrics, criminal records, mental illness and more.
If several people classified as high-risk are gathered in one place, an alert is automatically sent to nearby police units.
To get the project started, China is seeking offers from companies willing to provide the technology needed to build this advanced surveillance system. Chinese police have already claimed to have built a database of over 2.5 billion facial images. A surveillance contracted called Megvii has reportedly developed software that can connect a person to all digital accounts used to access online services and track their movements and daily activities.
Over the years, China has made a conscious effort to keep an eye on its citizens by investing a lot of resources in surveillance systems. The Chinese government constantly dictates how citizens should live their lives, especially their online presence on social media platforms.