Chinese Government Fines Local Car Dealerships For Surveilling While Not Being The Government

from the look,-this-is-something-only-we-can-do dept

The Eleventh Commandment (paraphrased from the original Homer Simpson):


Lots of nations are surveillance states. Very few engage in the depth and breadth of surveillance China does. Whatever any other country does, China has already done, redone, and modded to abstraction. The government not only loves deploying facial recognition tech, but is working on adding things like racial recognition to keep an eye on pesky foreigners and unwanted minorities.

It’s one thing if the government does it. It’s apparently quite another if private companies try to get in on the Big Brothering.

Many Chinese provinces and cities have explicitly legislated against companies collecting facial recognition information from late last year to early this year, and it appears that a subsidiary of XPeng Motors has ignored those regulations.

An XPeng sales company in Shanghai was recently fined RMB 100,000 ($15,710) by local market regulators for illegally collecting facial recognition information, according to an administrative penalty decision included by data provider Tianyancha.

The irony of forbidding the use of private facial recognition tech is probably lost on the Chinese government. I mean, it doesn’t seem to appreciate any form of humor, even grimdark irony like fining a private company for stepping on its surveillance turf.

It may be unfair to single out China for this sort of thing. It happens everywhere. Countries where facial recognition tech has been deployed by governments also have laws in place that forbid the same sort of collection by private companies. In some US states, government use is legal but private use violates local laws. In most of the US, though, it’s still the tech Wild West, with both governments and private entities subject to few guidelines or regulation.

But you can’t applaud the Chinese government for taking a tough stance on surveillance tech use by private entities. It clearly finds nothing wrong with its pervasive, ever-expanding surveillance state, which makes its regulation of private use extremely hypocritical. And the fact that it works closely with local companies to expand its surveillance opportunities makes its double-standard especially pronounced.

Xpeng, for its part, claims this was all a mistake. It claims a subsidiary purchased the cameras from a third party and deployed them without verifying they complied with local laws. But that doesn’t explain how this oversight went unnoticed for nearly six months, resulting in the collection of nearly 450,000 facial images.

But this fact is undeniable: if these cameras had been operated by the government and trained on people doing nothing more than buying cars, it all would have been above-board. The Chinese government can’t possibly justify all the surveillance it engages in. It does it because it can. But the far more innocuous collection of information to analyze customer demographics is apparently where the Chinese government draws the line.

Filed Under: , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Chinese Government Fines Local Car Dealerships For Surveilling While Not Being The Government”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

America is like totally different, Dude

this could never ever happen in U.S.
All American government agencies strictly follow American laws, especially regarding surveillance — just ask the NSA CIA FBI ICE DEA or any local police dept.
And American government would never ever prosecute private citizens for doing illegal actions that the government does routinely.

Anonymous Coward says:

Despite understanding the depth of the Chinese surveillance state and how oppressive it it for its citizens, I do not get the hypocrisy in the decision of using it for government purposes and denying it for private ones. Surveillance is a military technology, and as such the state has the monopoly over its use in China, as it is with data interception for example, or nuclear arms, or many other technologies.

Raymondjoype (user link) says:

Где вести блог 12 удобных платформ Л

The energy massage inSoho it today skill give away bliss. The Soapy massage – on the influence on clients is meant practically unlimited available opportunities actions on bodily, and consequently, and psychoemotional state of health friends.
Systematically visiting the four hands massage for clients, you guarantee himself excellent sexual relaxation.
Dear gentlemen!
And while, french massage and not violates practically any prohibitions, for the reason it's not about sexual contact.
Sensitive touch rasprekrasnoy girls will flow through your body, dipping in depth boundless the ocean pleasure. In the quiet slip, donating your skin kisses, prelestress envelops the warmth of one's body. You will be surprised at, which sea bliss today it is possible to feel fromnude massage in Midtown.

<a href=>Что такое блог кому и зачем нужен микроблоги</a>

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...