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Facial recognition law in China

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-04-29, 14:40 authored by Zhaohui Su, Ali Cheshmehzangi, Dean McDonnell, Barry L Bentley, Claudimar Pereira da Veiga, Yu-Tao Xiang

 Despite the prevalence of facial recognition-based COVID-19 surveillance tools and techniques, China does not have a facial recognition law to protect its residents’ facial data. Oftentimes, neither the public nor the government knows where people’s facial images are stored, how they have been used, who might use or misuse them, and to what extent. This reality is alarming, particularly factoring in the wide range of unintended consequences already caused by good-intentioned measures and mandates amid the pandemic. Biometric data are matters of personal rights and national security. In light of worrisome technologies such as deep-fake pornography, the protection of biometric data is also central to the protection of the dignity of the citizens and the government, if not the industry as well. This paper discusses the urgent need for the Chinese government to establish rigorous and timely facial recognition laws to protect the public’s privacy, security, and dignity amid COVID-19 and beyond. 


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Journal of Medical Ethics




  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)


Su, Z., Cheshmehzangi, A., McDonnell, D., Bentley, B. L., da Veiga, C. P., & Xiang, Y. T. (2022) 'Facial recognition law in China', Journal of Medical Ethics. doi: 10.1136/medethics-2022-108130

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Barry Bentley

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