Beijing installs facial recognition to deter toilet paper theft


In 2017, an automated facial recognition dispenser was installed in one of the busiest toilets in Beijing in order to prevent theft of toilet paper rolls, chiefly by elderly residents. Would-be users must remove hats and glasses and stand in front of a high-definition camera for three seconds in order to receive a 60cm length. Users have complained of software malfunctions that force them to wait, the lack of privacy, and difficulty getting the machines to work. The last of these led the city to post attendants in the bathrooms to explain how to use the machines.

Writer: Benjamin Haas
Publication: Guardian
Date of publication: 2017-03-20

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