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Facial recognition, new watchdog of Beijing public rental neighborhoods

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-07-22 15:51

BEIJING -- Beijing's first batch of 13 public rental housing communities has launched a facial recognition system at their entrances.

By the end of October, the remaining 46 public rental housing communities in the capital will be equipped with the system.

Zhang Yu, a resident, entered the gate after being recognized by the system. The whole process only took about one second.

"Strangers who don't live in the community such as real estate agents and salespersons who came to post ads, used to get in freely," Zhang said.

Zhang hopes that the system can stop unidentified individuals at the gate so as to guard the privacy and safety of the residents.

The profile images of residents and their family members were collected before they moved in, according to Yin Na, who works in the community.

The community has also collected information of the service staff from express and food delivery companies, according to Shi Zhibing, deputy director of the Beijing Public Housing Center.

The facial recognition system has been piloted in some communities in Fengtai District since the end of 2018. Liang Xinwei, a resident, said he feels his neighborhood is more quiet and secure now.

The technology can also prevent beneficiaries of the government-funded housing from renting their apartments to others for profit, and ensure the safety of residents by denying access to strangers, said an official with the Beijing affordable housing construction and investment center.

Subletting public rental houses is banned as they serve to provide shelter for low-income families and migrant workers, the official said.

Currently, more than 133,000 residents in Beijing's public rental housing have registered in the facial recognition systems.

The personal information and profile images of the residents are all saved in the database under strict privacy protection protocols. Such information will be deleted when residents move away, according to Shan Zhenyu, director of the information department from the Beijing Public Housing Center.

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