from the we-can-see-you dept.
Submitted via IRC for chromas
One billion surveillance cameras will be deployed globally by 2021, according to data compiled by IHS Markit and first reportedby The Wall Street Journal. China's installed base is expected to rise to over 560 million cameras by 2021, representing the largest share of surveillance devices installed globally, with the US rising to around 85 million cameras. When taking populations into account, however, China will continue to have nearly the same ratio of cameras to citizens as the US.
In 2018, China had 350 million cameras installed for an estimated one camera for every 4.1 people. That compared to one for every 4.6 people in the US where 70 million cameras were installed. Taiwan was third in terms of penetration with one camera for every 5.5 citizens in 2018, followed by the UK and Ireland (1:6.5) and Singapore (1:7.1).
China's installed base of cameras has recently risen 70 percent, while the US increased by nearly 50 percent.
"During the past few years, coverage of the surveillance market has focused heavily on China's massive deployments of cameras and artificial intelligence (AI) technology," said IHS Markit analyst Oliver Philippou. "What's received far less attention is the high level of penetration of surveillance cameras in the United States. With the US nearly on par with China in terms of camera penetration, future debate over mass surveillance is likely to concern America as much as China."
There is a difference in how the cameras are implemented, though. In China, most cameras are installed for the purposes of widespread video surveillance of cities, whereas cameras installed in the US are primarily for the purposes of retail and commercial usage. Notably, the Chinese government is reportedly using cameras with facial recognition to profile and track members of Muslim minority groups, a million or more of whom are being rounded up and detained in indoctrination camps.
US cities are split currently on how to deal with facial recognition. As reported by the WSJ, cities like Detroit; Washington, DC; and Orlando are testing it for policing and security, while others, like San Francisco, have officially banned it. IHS Markit says only 3 percent of security cameras installed in the US are for the purposes of city-wide surveillance.
Comparitech's Paul Bischoff found that Amazon's facial recognition platform misidentified an alarming number of people, and was racially biased.
Facial recognition technology is still misidentifying people at an alarming rate – even as it's being used by police departments to make arrests. In fact, Paul Bischoff, consumer privacy expert with Comparitech, found that Amazon's face recognition platform incorrectly misidentified more than 100 photos of US and UK lawmakers as criminals.
Rekognition, Amazon's cloud-based facial recognition platform that was first launched in 2016, has been sold and used by a number of United States government agencies, including ICE and Orlando, Florida police, as well as private entities. In comparing photos of a total of 1,959 US and UK lawmakers to subjects in an arrest database, Bischoff found that Rekognition misidentified at average of 32 members of Congress. That's four more than a similar experiment conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – two years ago. Bischoff also found that the platform was racially biased, misidentifying non-white people at a higher rate than white people.
These findings have disturbing real-life implications. Last week, the ACLU shed light on Detroit citizen Robert Julian-Borchak Williams, who was arrested after a facial recognition system falsely matched his photo with security footage of a shoplifter.
Xi Jinping is using artificial intelligence to enhance his government's totalitarian control—and he's exporting this technology to regimes around the globe.
[...] Xi has said that he wants China, by year's end, to be competitive with the world's AI leaders, a benchmark the country has arguably already reached. And he wants China to achieve AI supremacy by 2030.
Xi's pronouncements on AI have a sinister edge. Artificial intelligence has applications in nearly every human domain, from the instant translation of spoken language to early viral-outbreak detection. But Xi also wants to use AI's awesome analytical powers to push China to the cutting edge of surveillance. He wants to build an all-seeing digital system of social control, patrolled by precog algorithms that identify potential dissenters in real time.
[...] China already has hundreds of millions of surveillance cameras in place. Xi's government hopes to soon achieve full video coverage of key public areas. Much of the footage collected by China's cameras is parsed by algorithms for security threats of one kind or another. In the near future, every person who enters a public space could be identified, instantly, by AI matching them to an ocean of personal data, including their every text communication, and their body's one-of-a-kind protein-construction schema. In time, algorithms will be able to string together data points from a broad range of sources—travel records, friends and associates, reading habits, purchases—to predict political resistance before it happens. China's government could soon achieve an unprecedented political stranglehold on more than 1 billion people.
Early in the coronavirus outbreak, China's citizens were subjected to a form of risk scoring. An algorithm assigned people a color code—green, yellow, or red—that determined their ability to take transit or enter buildings in China's megacities. In a sophisticated digital system of social control, codes like these could be used to score a person's perceived political pliancy as well.