Police in Beijing will soon be able to observe citizens in public through a computer monitoring system. While some citizens hope that this will serve to deter theft, others are skeptical of its legitimacy and are concerned about the potential to further encroach upon human rights.
According to Jing Bao ( The First ), in 2006, important areas and public places in Beijing will be under the surveillance of a computer monitoring system. The computer “eye” automatically observes and performs behavioral analysis. If there is something wrong, the police will be alerted.
This image identification system purportedly makes use of the latest technology to recognize and analyze human behavior. Once a shopper enters a supermarket, the image, as captured by the cameras in the supermarket, will be sent through optical fiber to the computer system of the public security bureau.
According to the report, this image identification system has been installed in supermarkets this year. Its usage will be extended to subways and other crowded places.
In addition, the city's business centers, gas stations, elementary and middle schools, and more than 3,000 automated teller machines will gradually come under this monitoring network, putting more and more under the surveillance of the police monitoring system.
With regards to Beijing's new public security measure, posters to Internet sites Souhu.com and Sina.net are concerned about the invasion of privacy and question the legality of such a measure.