Jaywalkers Under Surveillance In Shenzhen Soon To Be Punished Via Text Messages

from South China Morning Post

Traffic police in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen have always had a reputation for strict enforcement of those flouting road rules in the metropolis of 12 million people.

Now with the help of artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology, jaywalkers will not only be publicly named and shamed, they will be notified of their wrongdoing via instant messaging – along with the fine.

Intellifusion, a Shenzhen-based AI firm that provides technology to the city’s police to display the faces of jaywalkers on large LED screens at intersections, is now talking with local mobile phone carriers and social media platforms such as WeChat and Sina Weibo to develop a system where offenders will receive personal text messages as soon as they violate the rules, according to Wang Jun, the company’s director of marketing solutions.

More here.

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  1. Using instant messaging, AI technology, and psychological sensitivity is China’s new and, very interesting, way of catching jaywalkers and decreasing the activity substantially. Every time a jaywalker would cross the street, special AI technology would capture their face, send them an instant message, fine them, and display their crime at major intersections. This form of punishment and conforming the society is very intriguing at first, however it reveals an issue with privacy.
    Almost every time the subject of AI technology is brought up in an article or news cast, the issue of privacy prevails and causes concern. In this situation previously described, the exposure of a jaywalker’s identity and invasion of instant messaging is far from fair. Although this is a brilliant way of get pedestrians to stop jaywalking, it reminds citizens that nothing can be done without a camera watching you. Embarrassing the individual who commits jaywalking through instant messaging is genius, however displaying their name and photo to the public may be too much. Then again, maybe this will change how law enforcement is regulated throughout various countries. Minor crimes such as jaywalking, littering, and loitering could decrease considerably through extra eyes regulating the city. Highly-populated cities with increasing crime rates could possibly utilize this type of technology to protect citizens. Could you imagine putting this type of technology in New York City? It could decrease crime, however it might put a lot of police jobs out of work if it is successful. There are a lot of factors to consider when implementing this type of technology, and I think they should be investigated before this methodology breaks out.
    If you have read any of my prior blog posts, you more than well know I am not a fan of AI technology. I think it has already destroyed our privacy and is hurting our world more than we realize. However, this article is one of first that made me think of AI positively, in that police from China are using it in a creative way for the better of society. While it is doing this, we also have to remember that this could impact jobs and other factors of life that we haven’t discovered yet. I am not totally for AI technology, and surprisingly I’m not totally against it either. What I am for is to investigate groundbreaking technology before we make it a public-use good for all to purchase and utilize.

  2. There are numerous issues I take with the implementation of a text message notification system based on the facial recognition of jaywalkers, not the least of which being the public-humiliation aspect. Before this can be even discussed, however, the issue of the omnipresent surveillance technology is prudent. There are of course arguments in favor of the technology: the ability to have a constant eye on the streets of a city has obvious security advantages or, perhaps, so it may seem. According to the ACLU, the implementation of street surveillance technology has not been prove to be nearly as effective it may seem on the surface. In the US, the monitoring of this sort of technology has been described as “boring” and “mesmerizing” by those who monitor it (https://www.aclu.org/other/whats-wrong-public-video-surveillance). This being said, adding the component of autonomous facial recognition muddies the waters a bit. It is easy to argue that human error could severely harm the effectiveness of the surveillance method but, once humans are removed from the equation, the possibilities become far more dangerous. It is a system the never sleeps and hardly makes errors. To quote the ACLU, this sort of perpetual surveillance could put a “chill” into public life. This is not to say, of course, that anyone should be going out and knowingly committing crimes. We did discuss earlier in the semester, however, the example of guilt by association. Say, for instance, your friend is in possession of marijuana. You have no idea; you are simply spending time with the friend and acting well within the law. If your friend is caught for possession of an illegal substance, you can be considered guilty by association. You did not even know that you did anything wrong yet you are punished all the same. This sort of monitoring can be made far easier with the implementation of surveillance technology. We have become complacent to the notion that we are always being watched and monitored. This is especially alarming now, having seen the consequences and implications of data leaks and breaches from big name companies such as, most recently, Facebook.

  3. The case here with China is quite complex and interesting; never has anything like this been done to this extreme in any other country, let alone done at all. Often seen in video games and movies, the basis of life in China is becoming a “sci-fi” movie where the government tracks and knows where you are at all times. It is a matter of time until the Chinese government knows what its citizens are thinking. The whole idea of constant AI technology and transforming the way people live in China is scary for their citizens; the idea of literally being monitored, and now having your facial width and measurements, along with everything else about you stored is actually depressing for the citizens. They are unable to cross the street without being put on a camera, and in my opinion it is wrong. However, that point of view is that of an American here in the states; the view of a Chinese citizen may be different. Since they are immune to new additions like this, is it really a big deal for them? Most likely, at this point, it is nothing radically different from what they live with already. The government probably already had the facial dimensions and copy of them anyway- since over 3,000 officers wear panoramic body cameras that have facial recognition (http://www.scmp.com/tech/china-tech/article/2131856/chinese-police-testing-body-cameras-720-degree-field-view-inbuilt). For the sake of the argument, let’s say that there is nothing wrong with the government constantly monitoring the citizens- if that is the case, then I believe displaying the images of unlawful citizens is correct. If they fail to abide by the law and decide that they want to disobey the streets, then by all means shame them for it, blast their face of a billboard, and diminish their social score. Plus, the idea of sending them a text message with a fine is a great touch by the government; have the citizens pay for the surveillance they are providing you- genius. Literally the Chinese society is a farm for the government; it seems hard to live happily and do what you want in this George Orwell-type of lifestyle. In a sense, there is no “alone” anymore in China, and it may be a matter of time until other countries adopt some of the same principles. Fortunately for the US, I do not really see this happening anytime soon, if so, the government will be making a lot of money in NYC for jaywalking- as it is basically the norm here.

  4. China is turning into a real life episode of Black Mirror. Using AI technology to publicly shame people who break the law seems like something only seen in a TV series or a science fiction movie. Facial recognition alone, regardless of its use for capturing a criminal or a jaywalker, is only a recent advancement in technology; it was something only dreamed about just a few years ago. There are even instances of citizens being rated and rewarded by the strength of their social media profiles and how beautiful or handsome they appear. Now, not only is this technology real, but it is making its way into everyday public surveillance.

    The idea of using a system like this to prevent jaywalking from happening sounds good on paper. Sending a fine via text cuts down on overall costs of police operations, and it promotes quickness and efficiency in the justice system. However, the possibility of a person being misidentified and wrongfully fined puts enough skepticism in my mind that this system will ever be fully effective. Also, the vast amount of personal data now being gathered on the offenders and stored somewhere, leaving it especially prone and susceptible to hacks. Especially with the recent events regarding Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, personal data is not one hundred per cent safe, which will be catastrophic if the information falls into the wrong hands.

    The article mentioned the success of the LED video boards around the city and the website which publicly shame the offenders in reducing the frequency of jaywalking, but there are so many moral obligations being completely disregarded. First of all, jaywalking is very common, regardless of the illegality of it, and the idea of a person being publicly shamed for something as simple as crossing a street when they are not supposed to should not be an issue. In my opinion, the only people who should be publicly shamed are those accused of serious crimes, and jaywalking, although illegal, is not a serious crime. Second, with the facial recognition technology, LED boards, and the website providing the offenders’ information readily accessible, it seems to me that those in charge would take joy in publicly shaming jaywalkers, which would defeat the purpose of the system entirely. The point, if any, of publicly shaming jaywalkers would be to provide a true learning experience for them. With this kind of system in place, the likelihood of those in charge flexing their muscles as a sign of authority would increase exponentially.

  5. I think this implication of cameras and law is extremely distasteful. It uses cameras to fine, and publicly shame people for jaywalking. While it is still illegal, I cannot imagine Jaywalking being so serious that Chinese police feel the need to put these peoples faces on a screen at popular intersections. This reminds me of restaraunts using tablets to serve people. It completely takes all the responsibility off of a waitress to tend to your table and get your order. These cameras are essentially doing the police’s job for them. Why should these police get paid if the majority of their fines come from targeting Jaywalkers through cameras? While the camera and fines do provide incentive for people to follow the rules, what happens in the case of an accident? If someone has to cross the street in the event of an emergency, or if they don’t stay exactly in the crosswalk are they going to get fined? Cameras and technology do not posses the intuition that humans do. They have a clear set of rules, right and wrong. There are going to be problems with this system, and people will have no power to argue it. They are going to get fined through text, and be flagged by police as an offender. This way of enforcing the law seems oppressive. It seems like a seen from the book 1984. People can never escape the eyes of the government, and will be punished for not acting exactly the way their government sees fit. This new way of targeting minor offenses feels invasive, and violating. People will be in constant fear of breaking the smallest rules. While it creates a well structured and safe environment, I think it causes anxiety at the same time. As a driver or pedestrian, it would feel like I had my mother looking over my shoulder and commenting on every decision I make. I think this just makes it easier for the government to give fines to as many people as possible and collect as much money as they can.

  6. Hearing of Shenzhen’s plan to put an end to Jaywalkers seems to me like a good idea. Many will probably find this unethical or an invasion of privacy but I believe that if it is being done in public city spaces, then it is okay and will in the long run improve safety for all. Whether we like it or not, AI and facial recognition technology is very much present and growing rapidly. By sending tickets and fines to jaywalkers via text message, people will begin to gain awareness of the crime and stop. This may just be the start, eventually Shenzhen, and other cities may start using this for prevention of more serious crimes. I find it interesting that part of this process will be publicly posting the pictures of the perpetrators on a website. This may not be a big deal for some, but other will hate having their photo visible to see by all because of the shame and embarrassment it will bring. Reading that police in other Chinese cities are wearing facial recognition smart glasses did surprise me. In a way, it seems like this is slightly more of an invasion of privacy than posted cameras at crosswalks. This is because they are walking around and possibly interfering with citizens as they go about their day. Spotting them jaywalk and penalizing them is one thing, but secretly identifying them on their way to work seems unethical. All this being said, I would agree that using facial recognition to help with the jaywalking problem is a good idea and should spread to other cities in the world, especially when considering the number from the article that say almost 14,000 (13,930) offenders were recorded in only ten months time.

  7. China is slowly becoming the technological juggernaut in regards to personal identification and law enforcement. The implementation of regulated facial recognition software in society, as detailed in the South China Morning Post’s article, ” China to Build Giant Facial Recognition Database to Identify Any Citizen Within Seconds,” (http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2115094/china-build-giant-facial-recognition-database-identify-any), would certainly assist in China’s goal to fine jaywalkers in this particular case, and even in identifying criminals, as stated in the article. However, this may come at a price, as this new technology is sure to infringe on the privacy of Chinese citizens, as the article also states that, unlike a fingerprint, a facial scan can be completed at a distance. This issue is worsened by the displaying of an individual’s information over the pavement, such as their photo, family name, and part of their government identification number after the offense.

    On one hand, minor offenses such as jaywalking would go down, as there would be more of an incentive to follow the laws, since the offender would not only be fined, but they would also want to refrain from having their information shown publicly on the screens around the city. Not only would this bring the offense rate down, but this would also regulate traffic while keeping pedestrians safe, ultimately lowering the likelihood of a serious accident.

    On the other hand, it is an incredibly invasive and forceful way to regulate the law. This technology would essentially be policing citizens by instilling fear in them, making each of their actions driven by fear instead of free will. In addition, the public displaying of individual’s information after an offense could become disastrous, as hackers or other individuals could gain access to the information, especially if facial recognition technology becomes more common. Finally, not only would repeat offenders face worse fines or charges, but so could “less attractive people,” as determined by facial recognition biases detailed in the previously mentioned article. If these biases could find their way into society, such as through restaurants, then it is also likely that these biases could reach the government through the technology itself as it develops.

    There is a lot of good that can come from this kind of technology. However, the ethical issues that arise from the implementation of facial recognition in daily life may end up causing more harm than good. Prioritizing safety and the enforcement of the law are generally good things to strive for, however, if it comes at the expense of free will, then it may be necessary to rethink strategies on how these goals can be achieved.

  8. I remember reading a book in high school called Big Brother where people lived in a dystopia where the government watched every move one made. In the book, each person had a television in their living room that watched them as they performed daily tasks. The balance of law enforcement and privacy protection is a controversial topic in today’s world. In America, we struggle with privacy breaches with TSA or students required to wear clear backpacks. About five years ago cameras began popping up on red lights around New Jersey. The point of these cameras was to monitor action at these location and ticket drivers who run red lights. Major issue were created because of these cameras and one of them being that there was no proof the owner of the car was actually driving it. Privacy was also an issue and in 2016 the cameras were deemed unconstitutional and were deactivated.
    The cameras in China are on steroids, they have the ability to use facial recognition to identify the people breaking the law. This would be understandable for crimes like murder, rape, theft and vandalism; but these cameras are used to ticket jaywalkers. To me, my fear would lie in these harmless crimes affecting my credit score, which would be the punishment in China. In my opinion, this will cause citizens to become fearful of their every day lives much like the citizens in the book Big Brother.

  9. Shenzhen, a southern city in China with a population of about 12 million people, will begin to initiate public humiliation of citizens who are caught jaywalking along with subsequent fines. The Shenzhen traffic police are going to use artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology to keep watch of the crosswalks and streets in the metropolis. They will be publically named and notified of their wrongdoing via instant message. Through a Shenzhen-based third party AI firm, Intellifusion, the traffic police will have access to the faces of jaywalkers on large LED screens at intersections. They are in talks with the local mobile phone carriers and social media platforms to develop a system where offenders will receive the text message communications as they are violating the law.

    While this solution may be extreme, jaywalking is a serious issue that needs to be addressed in China. Take a look again at the large population of just one Chinese city, Shenzhen. 12 million people in a downtown metropolis area are a ton of congestion for drivers and pedestrians alike. While pedestrians jaywalking may not seem like such a big deal for some of us in the United States, it is a legitimate issue that China is trying to deal with for the past decade or so. China’s transport authorities said that around 4,000 people total have died from vehicle accidents on crosswalks from 2014-2017. Instead of continuing to slap offenders with fines which has not yielded results in the past, the country is now depending on psychology to aid in their attempted solution. Shenzhen would not be the first Chinese city to implement AI and facial recognition technologies to aid in resolving traffic violations like jaywalking. Beijing and Shanghai have also both implemented these procedures to regulate traffic and identify drivers who act unlawfully on the road. Chinese police at the Zhengzhou East high speed rail station in Henan province have also equipped with smart glasses that have facial recognition software to identify wanted criminals. Beijing police are using the world’s first surround-body camera with inbuilt facial recognition technology.

    While China seems like they are trying to get an edge on criminal prosecution and protection of their citizens through this implementation of new technology, they need to be mindful of how much they are truly beginning to invade in their citizens personal information. Something to take note of is that while Beijing and Shanghai are implanting these controversial technologies towards criminal prosecutions, Shenzhen is doing the same but implementing a public humiliation spin with the crime to stop repeat offenders from jaywalking. Shenzhen is the first city to publically display violators face at the time of the infraction on LED screens on the streets. The question then arises, is this entirely ethical? The Chinese government is essentially giving third parties the authority to access the faces and personal information of millions of individuals. While the purpose may be to improve the greater good of society, is it ethical for the government to implement this without the consent of all citizens. Being monitored constantly and being able to be identified instantly would put myself in a constant state of fear. This feeling is one that is similar to the tone of George Orwell’s famous novel, 1984. With the constant threat of “Big Brother” watching (symbolically translating to government surveillance), citizens live in constant fear about who is watching what citizens do, say, or think at all times. Now this is a very extreme end of the spectrum but it seems as though tis could be one small step towards getting to 1984-like conditions in our society.

    While these cities need to implement some kind of solutions to aid in terms of jaywalking, I’m not sure how entirely effective the public humiliation tactic will be for the Shenzhen traffic police. Between the ethical issues of using face recognition, AI and advanced technology without the citizens’ consent could allow distrust to arise between the citizens and their government.

  10. I found this blog to be interesting for a number of reasons. For one it shows just how advanced technology is getting day by day. The author states that “now with the help of artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology, jaywalkers will not only be publicly named and shamed, they will be notified of their wrongdoing via instant messaging, along with a fine. I think that’s crazy that we now have technology that can pick up random faces on the streets and identify them. The author goes on to explain the software by describing it as a Shenzhen-based AI firm that provides technology to the city’s police to display the faces of jaywalkers on large LED screens at intersections, and is now talking with local mobile phone carriers and social media platforms such as WeChat and Sina Weibo to develop a system where offenders will receive personal text messages as soon as they violate the rules. That’s simply fascinating to me and to think that only 10 years ago people thought that technology like this wouldn’t happen for like another 25-30 years. So the fact that its moving so fast is incredible and only puts me awe about how great technology will grow to be within my lifetime. But after reading this article I couldn’t help to think that this technology is being used for the wrong purpose. Is jaywalking really that big of a crime that a person needs to be “humiliated” on led screens at an intersection? I don’t think so, although I know this will be taking place in the Chinese city of Shenzhen where apparently jaywalking is a huge problem. I just dont think its worth this much attention. I think technology would be great for stores, I think it would really reduce shoplifting or stealing of anything. Imagine if this technology was placed all around the city instead of focusing on jaywalkers. Imagine if there were like a couple of these systems on every block, you would never have to worry about someone breaking into someone’s house because they would be scared that their face would be recognized and they would be reprimanded for their crime. I’m also not sure if im comfortable with the whole you’ll receive a text message thing to me, it’s just starting to seem like people and their private information is becoming too open and there will always be people with magnificent minds who chose to use them for evil. So if everyone’s information is so public in this database that picks up faces and is able to identify their phone number, it makes it that much easier for hackers to get the things they need to maybe steal one’s identity. But all in all this was a great article.

  11. This article brings up similar themes that have been discussed in other articles discussing China. The large amount of developments in AI that China has been able to come up with obviously have broad applications. This is certainly an interesting way to apply facial recognition technology as many major US cities don’t really enforce j-walking laws. This system, which really just seems to be one of public shaming definitely seems to be a new way of dealing with an issue that China seems to struggle with. The obvious that arises with this technology is that of privacy. If the name, phone number, or even parts of ID numbers are being released to the general public then this certainly seems like a massive violation of privacy rights. The article also mentions that if you are caught multiple times it could affect your credit score which seems to be a bit of an overstep. China does not have the same understanding of privacy rights as the United States does.
    The other as the article notes is that when this technology is used more broadly by law enforcement it can make mistakes. If someone is mistakenly accused of a serious crime then it could ruin their lives. China could be a used as an early test to see how this technology may develop. In the US however the way China is using this technology would most likely violate several privacy rights and would have to be used in a much more limited manner. Overall facial recognition technology has broad applications in society and could prove to be very useful in many industries.

  12. The government tries to figure out ways to enforce rules. With technology enhancing by the second, it gives the government lead way to do so. When is it necessary to draw the line between enforcing rules and confidentiality. Although jaywalking is illegal, I don’t believe its fair for the government to be able to scan one’s face and display it at an intersection. What would be the point of publicly shaming someone for committing such a harmless crime as jaywalking? The government being able to scan one’s face and send a find through text doesn’t make matters any better. I believe this is a step closer to robot police honestly. This particular article reminds me of the movie “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” when the search bot scanned through the old robot for the new robot. Furthermore, I think it’s totally absurd for the government to scan someone’s face for jaywalking. There are unsolved bank robberies all around the world, but the government decides to use their technology for jaywalking.

  13. Countless times have I heard in John Shannon‘s class about the incoming technology that will intrude our privacy and essentially destroy it. Always while listening to the stories in class I always thought that can’t be real it must be so difficult to institute facial recognition on a mass basis and even if they did they wouldn’t use it for a petty things such as jaywalking. Little did I know about what’s happening across the seas where regulations and rights are routinely broken allowing for businesses and government organizations to essentially do whatever they want. Whatever your I think of cameras I always think of low-quality pictures and being mainly used for YouTube videos instead of security little did I know that China is currently using high quality cameras to use facial recognition technology. This technology may start off minor, basically a nuisance to the public such as getting a ticket for passing on a yellow light or getting a ticket/text for stepping into the street slightly off the crosswalk but it can easily grow into a larger problem. The same technology can be used to crack down on basic human rights with an example being the tianmen square protest. If the Chinese government had access to that technology at that time period then the protest would have been effectively shut down before it even started and even after the protest the repercussions of being there must have been terrible. It is dangerous to have this technology as it allows the Chinese government to further tighten their grip on their citizens. Now relating this back to America this technology is still in its infancy stages (ironic the innovation capital of the world is now falling behind China), nevertheless it is still lightly regulated and should be regulated immediately before it becomes widespread. There are obviously countless benefits of having facial recognition on cameras everywhere, finding missing persons or murders are some of the good benefits but it should be still be heavily regulated. Even with the benefits of these cameras I firmly believe that majority of the American population would be opposed to the thought of cameras spying on their everyday movements.

  14. Using such advanced facial recognition technology on such petty violations is just the beginning of what can be done with technology that can be used to govern citizens. This amount of work for such a small thing like jaywalking seems to be just a way for the authorities in Shenzhen, China to show how much power they have over the people. Receiving a text message to alert you when you have violated pedestrian rules seems frightening and give you the feeling all eyes are constantly watch. The article also mentions that this system will be able to monitor how many offenses individual pedestrians has and at a certain number, it will begin to have effect on their credit score, which seems very excessive in my opinion.
    Public humiliation and shaming by broadcasting jaywalkers on LED screens is a step too far for such a minor thing like jaywalking. This seems to be an invasion of privacy and something like this would not go over well in the U.S. as our privacy rights are very different from those in China. If a government wants this degree of control over such small things, it will only take off from here. Although this technology is very amazing and advanced, it should not be used to criminalize jaywalkers, but instead used for more serious crimes.

  15. There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of jaywalking if very few people are around. It’s not quite a crime—it’s just prone to accidents. However, in a country with a population of nearly 1.4 billion people, it may as well be one. Supposedly, drivers try to kill the pedestrians they accidentally hit in order to mitigate the legal action.

    However, it’s not exactly fair that jaywalkers are publicly shamed, or that Intellifusion hunts down phone numbers to shame them. This is personal information. It’s legal in America, because the information is already entrusted to a company, but it’s just not ethical for another company to find it and use it, possibly for unknown means.

    It is fair to post security footage online in order to catch a thief, or a dine-and-dasher, as they both commit a serious crime, but a jaywalker only commits a misdemeanor at most. It’s also not fair to publicize a person’s identity. The novel Deadeye Dick, by Kurt Vonnegut, satirizes a similar issue to this. The main protagonist, Rudy Waltz, accidentally shoots a pregnant woman in his youth, and is forced to live with the regret for the rest of his life even though his actions were entirely unintentional. Though it’s true that killing someone is always wrong, it’s also true that accidents happen and not every criminal action is inherently evil.

    It makes no sense, then, for a person’s identity to be publicized, especially if they’re only convicted of jaywalking. It has helped with controlling accidents, which is good considering the population density in China, but then again, if this is the extent that a country must go to, it is moving toward a totalitarian state.

    Simply put, this concept is flawed. The publication of one’s name and face, along with the logging of one’s phone number, may promote paranoia among civilians. People in America already feel as though they’ve been violated knowing that Cambridge Analytics has been gaining access to their personal information. It’s amazing how much a “free country” can take for granted without knowing what it’s like to live in China.

  16. Every time I read an article that pertains to the country China, I deeply sympathize for law conditions that are forced upon every citizen. I know they say that every government system is not perfect but, the laws they enforce dehumanize their citizens. Do the pros of facial recognition integrated socioeconomically outweigh the cons? I believe that the pros are not as beneficial as it may seem. This system that heir government is enforcing treats every person as if they were a suspect or even a criminal. How can any person live their life knowing their every move is being watched? The only benefit rewarded from the integration of facial recognition to a country’s economy is the ability to locate any criminal which in turn will eventually reduce the level of crime.

    The law enforcement in China is overwhelming strict with enforcing and obeying the law, that they are creating new ways to implement the facial recognition throughout the country. The technology was created to catch criminals and reduce even possibly eliminate crime. The law officers are enforcing that notion on all levels of crimes. According the article even jaywalkers face the scrutiny when committing crimes. If a person is caught jaywalking across a street illegally the facial recognition will find that person. The technology has the ability to message the jaywalker notifying them of the crime they have committed. It then issues them a ticket and posts their picture on a led screen for everyone to see the individual that committed the crime. This technology is publicly shaming people for jaywalking which is a harmless crime. It is ridiculous to be shamed for jaywalking especially by their own government. I believe that does not come remotely close to all detrimental issues that may surface.

    The most obvious con that facial recognition effect on society is that the citizens no longer possess any privacy. The government is tracking their citizens every move which means people can no longer speak freely in the privacy of their homes. There may be a high probability that the government is monitoring any citizen’s conversations. The socioeconomic system the Chinese government imposes on their citizens may also bare and trigger major physiological issues on certain individuals in society. This system their government decided to use does more than keep a facial picture of every citizen. It also rates each and every citizen by various determinants like economic wealth, social status, and also social media popularity.

    In conclusion, the system enacted in China strips their citizens of any forms of privacy and rights they had left. The last bit of privacy a citizen had left in their home is gone. If they can track a person, issue them a ticket by text then they are most definitely listening in on their citizen’s conversation. It is intimidating to imagine a government like that exists in the twenty first century. A person should have the right to privacy regardless instead of making everything a public issue. It should be the individual who chooses to share their personal information with whomever they fell. The government should not be allowed to their citizen’s personal information and they do not have the right to tell them otherwise.

  17. Jaywalking has never been a law people always follow. It is easy to break and easy to get away with. I think that the face recognition technology is a bit extreme, but that it is a good idea because people will follow the laws more and respect it. I feel that receiving a message with your face and fine however is not the right way to fine someone. It is easy to miss a text or erase it. I think fines should be mailed to the person’s house. Obviously people do not want to be fined, but it is the only way to get them to follow the laws.

    I agree with Antonio that China’s laws are harsh and every single person is treated like a criminal before they even do something wrong. As I mentioned earlier, I do still believe that the face recognition technology is a bit extreme. China should find a new system in which people could be penalized for jaywalking. China should be nicer with the people and less harsh on them if they are not real criminals. I as well do sympathize for those living in China dealing with these issues.

  18. I agree with Shenzhen’s installation of facial recognitions and instant text messaging. This will limit the number of jaywalkers, and create a safer city. However a few questions do arise. Would the facial recognition feature work if a jaywalker has a ski mask on? Would there face still be recognizable? Would this cause a glitch in the system? Also, I believe that cell phone carriers would be disrespecting ethical values and allowing privacy evasions by allowing the city to have access to their servers. If they are able to instantly text jaywalkers, given they have their phone numbers, what else can they do and what other information do they have now that they have access?

    The article states that there will be a webpage that “displays photos, names and partial ID numbers of jaywalkers”. I agreed with Shenzhen’s principals until I read this statement. I personally believe that this would be considered an invasion of privacy and might heighten identity theft if a segment of a jaywalker’s ID number is released. This might come with many risk factors.

  19. For this week assignment I read a very interesting article titled “ Jaywalkers Under Surveillance In Shenzhen Soon To Be Punished Via Text Messages”. The author discusses the how with the help of artificial technology and a facial recognition technology provided by Intellifusion, a Shenzhen-based AI firm. Individuals who are jaywalking will receive a personal text message along with a fine and their face will be displayed on LED screens at interceptions. Although I do understand the importance of following traffic rules due to the number of people that are on the road, but from my perspective it is a bit excessive to publicly name and shame an individual for jaywalking. In addition, I also think it is inappropriate to fine someone via instant messaging. There are many different ways official can go about it regarding jaywalking and how to fine someone. It should definitely be documented on paper to say the least.

  20. Jaywalking is a gray area when it occurs in the United States. Most of the time, you can cross the street without worrying of getting a jay walking ticket. Not only does jay walking help with the person’s time, but creates traffic issues. Traffic has a big effect on what the decision on this matter is. In China, there are many urban areas that experience near gridlock on a daily basis. With jay walkers in the way, this only worsens the issue.
    In New York City, there is a new wave of police officers handing out tickets as people walk and look at their phones. There are many videos on the internet which exhibit this phenomenon and to be honest, it is funny. Although funny to some, sometimes, the person walking sometimes experience injury. Although geared towards more safety and less on traffic, people on their phones and walking has been problematic. Walking in front of cars without looking at the light is something I have seen first-hand. Coupled with people who are distracted driving, this is not a good mix.
    In China, people’s surveillance is a big issue and this newest trend of spying and penalizing jay walkers is just the newest string of the invasion of privacy. Now, without even a police officer seeing the act, cameras are able to see who and where a jay walker committed the act. With services such as Apple Pay, and other mobile payment methods, it is quite easy for the government to come up with a way to fine people and make it rather easy for them to pay.
    I am unfamiliar with the court system in China, but I am sure in some way that if the fine is not paid, the person may experience some strict penalties. In the United States, this may include a court appearance and perhaps community service of jail time. The surveillance portion of this issue is problematic because this constitutes an invasion of privacy. Watching people and where they go and if they properly cross in a crosswalk or not seems a bit over the top. It will be interesting to see if there will be adaptations of this new system in the United States in the coming years, or if it will receive backlash.

  21. Due to the population consisting of a whopping 12 million, countries such as China must enact laws that prevent jaywalking. Not only does jaywalking cause more accidents, but also creates a great disturbance in the flow of traffic. In a city where millions reside, it is extraordinarily important that the rights of the people are protected. In China, they are now looking to ticket jaywalkers by snapping their pictures at crosswalks and intersections, in addition to sending jaywalkers fines via text messages, while also being publicly shamed. China currently has facial recognition technology to monitor drivers in order to indicate who criminals are, so hearing that they are looking to install them at crosswalks is no surprise. However, it is a bit extensive for the government to expose your name and government ID number to the public if you were to violate the law.
    Facial recognition has helped law enforcement tremendously, and has been able to cut the crime rate as well. However, the issue that resides with facial recognition is that the people of China are not giving their consent, and if they were to violate the jaywalking law, their private information will be exposed. If their government number is exposed, any individual can access the number and steal their identity.
    In the past couple of years, a great number of pedestrians have been either injured or killed while jaywalking, and even walking at a crosswalk because they were looking down at their phones and were not paying attention to their surroundings. In the Netherlands, crosswalks with lights have been installed in order to remind pedestrians to keep their head up as they enter a cross walk. Legislations have also been passed within the past few months in order to prevent pedestrians from looking down at their cellular devices while walking at a cross walk. The overall goal of the legislation is to prevent pedestrian fatalities, and it seems to be more than promising that it will achieve this feat. Not only will this protect the lives of pedestrians, but will also protect the lives of drivers everywhere.
    Through a legislation being enacted, it will deter jaywalkers and will protect the livelihood of the community. Being that China relies on a system of social currency, a violation such as jaywalking could cause an individual to drop a social class, which is heavily frowned upon in China. This type of offense could also cause the offender to lose their ability to obtain a loan from a bank. I find it to be a bit absurd that a citation such as jaywalking could destroy your social credit, and that the government will expose your personal information without your consent. It is understandable that the government wants to create legislations to deter jaywalking, however it is unjust that the government will expose your personal identity number as a consequence of your misdemeanor. China’s current approach to digital rights in none like anywhere else, where internet users in China have heavily censored online access and are fined if they are able to enter and access a blocked site. Due to this infringement of rights, a legislation in regards to jaywalking with these consequences would never be passed in the United States. It is blasphemous that the government is able to own this amount of exponential power where the rights of the people are no longer considered.

  22. This is a very interesting topic to write about and I believe it has two sides. One, of course we are all worried about our security and safety and we don’t want to be involved in wrongdoings (at least the majority of us, I hope), and this measure would be an innovative solution in order to find a solution for this issue. However, violating the privacy of a citizen by sending a text stating he was involved an a violation is something, in my mind, worse than a Jaywalk offense. Although China is a country with very different laws and costumes regarding people’s privacy than the United States and the western World in general, what they are doing with this measure is basically public announce anybody who committed a felony, which, according to the western world laws is something prohibited.
    Putting this issue aside, and talking about the real issue in this case is how much control the government establishes over its citizens and how interconnected the Chinese platforms are with the government. In instance, in China, the most famous text message app in the world, WhatsApp is forbidden. There is no way to access it being connected to the internet in China’s territory. As such, the worlds largest population, with over 1.4 billion inhabitants is forced to use the only app which works there to communicate with friends and family. WeChat, which is the app Chinese people use to communicate is privately owner, however; the government oversees the operation and is able to have all the data WeChat and the other tech companies which have their business in all areas. As such, the government has an incredible amount of data over its people. It knows where they are, who they talk to, what they buy, and many other things. The main difference between this, and what Facebook, Amazon, Google and other big companies do is the fact that in China, the government possesses the information instead of the privately owned corporations like here. If this was in the United States, the constitution, trough its 4th amendment would prohibit this practice. Still, in China, is interesting how people aren’t aware of how much the government interferes in their lives. However, even if they were aware, I’m afraid there is nothing they could do, as the right to protest against the government there is not granted in China. This shows us that although capitalism here isn’t perfect, is better that having yourself tracked by the government 24/7 in a socialist society.

  23. China has been advancing majorly, especially in the technology industry. There was a previous article that spoke about face and finger scans to enter or leave specific places, and now we are talking about jaywalkers being punished immediately. Jaywalking is the crossing of a street unlawfully, or without regard for traffic, thus endangering both the driver and the pedestrian. Now in China, jaywalkers are being punished, every time someone jaywalks, they receive an instant message, and are fined. However, it doesn’t stop here, their crime is displayed at major intersections. Personally, this seems to be a breach in privacy, I understand the idea and the drive behind it, but the length that it is being taken to is not acceptable.
    It is interesting to see the way the law comes up these punishments, but it is also concerning because every action they have to prevent something normally includes a breach in privacy. I will not lie, this is a solid strategy to prevent people from jaywalking in the future, but it’s embarrassing as well. People have to be aware that they are constantly being watched, and that they never have a moment to themselves. They are constantly under surveillance. It is as if the police or the law enforcement want the people to be aware that they never have a moment to themselves that they should be afraid of what could happen if they break the law. Basically, the people are supposed to live their lives in fear?
    I believe that the extent this punishment is going to is unnecessary because jaywalking is not an offensive crime, it is considered a small crime, and the severity of the punishment that they receive…well it just does not balance out. Technology is very helpful, but it can be detrimental. It must not be used in ill manners.
    I have never seen a society so strict about minor things such as jaywalking in other places, but for some reason China believes that this crime must be dealt with severely. I can understand a simple fine and warning, but to publicly humiliate someone for such a tiny thing is not reasonable.

  24. Although enhanced surveillance has been installed in Berlin and elsewhere globally, China seems to be leading the way, for better or for worse, in innovative surveillance. It started with the installation of cameras like those mentioned in this South China Morning Post Article to monitor jaywalking and other crime.

    Like the article mentions, those behind the camera technology are working to integrate AI and social media to streamline the process from violation to ticket. Jaywalkers are publicly shamed on video screens in cities like Shanghai. Although some rulings pass though local councils today, the platform is increasingly algorithm based, with AI producing rulings based on banked data

    Since this article however, China has taken things a step further. By 2020, the government hope to assign all of its nearly one and a half billion residents a behavior score based on surveillance like the aforementioned cameras. . The scores have been dubbed “citizen scores”. In addition to monitoring outside with cameras, authorities are also working with social media and shopping sites to collect and evaluate data on the behavior of Chinese citizens.

    According to CBS, the government hopes to “purify” society by rewarding those who are trustworthy and punishing those who are not. There are already some 11 million Chinese citizens who are unable to fly due to low scores. Writing tweets that the government does not like lower your score, while purchasing Chinese made products and completing community service can raise one’s score. High scores can land citizens discounts on utility bills and better interest rates at banks. According to Business Insider, low scores can stop you from getting jobs or sending your kids to school.

    According to CBS sources, China already has over 176,000,000 cameras to monitor behavior, and it plans to have more than three times that, over 600 million, by 2020. The government has also mentioned a “golden shield” system, or bank of national, regional and local data on individual citizens. As the Atlantic pointed out in a recent article, this society sounds dystopian. To me it is something out of a Hunger Games novel.


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