Chinese scientists are using DNA samples to recreate faces: report
Chinese scientists are reconstructing human faces using seized DNA, according to an investigation by the New York Times.
The research comes after they harvested blood samples from Muslims being held in some of the nation’s “brainwashing” prison camps.
In theory, the weird science development could be used to help track down or eliminate suspects using DNA left at a crime scene.
However, with China’s reputation for snooping on its own citizens, many fear it is really building a tool that could be used to further restrict civil liberties.
Some point out it may even be possible for the bullying state to feed images produced from the DNA into the many facial recognition systems it is already building.
That would allow it to improve its ability to track the movements of dissidents and protesters, reports the New York Times.
Worryingly some of the DNA research — called phenotyping — is taking place in labs run by China’s hardline Ministry of Public Security.
Beijing is already looking at using facial recognition tech to sort its 1.3 billion population by individual ethnicity.
It is also reportedly researching how to use DNA to tell if a person is an Uighur — an ethnically Turkic Muslim.
The state has a long history of targeting Muslims and has even been accused of pressuring them to eat pork and drink booze.
Hundreds of thousands of Uighurs are being held in state detention centers and being forced to undergo “deradicalization” programs including having to recite Chinese laws.
It’s feared the DNA research is the latest in a string of attempts by officials to stymie any form of religious freedom or expression in the country.
On Monday we told how China had introduced face scans for millions of new phone users.
Under the no-nonsense rules, everybody who purchases a new mobile telephone must submit to an official facial scan.
The country already enforces “real-name registration” policies that require people to link online accounts with their official government ID.
But the latest move – formally adopted Sunday – further removes any sense of anonymity while using the internet, reports CNN.
Facial recognition is already mainstream in China, operating everywhere from airports to office buildings.
Beijing’s bustling underground system has even begun trialing new facial scanners at its security checkpoints.
In September, AI wrote potential breaches involving this type of information could have “severe and lasting” ramifications for the people affected.
“Facial recognition-powered surveillance systems, if improperly deployed or secured, will not only fail to effectively safeguard public safety but also may infringe on people’s freedom/privacy and provide a source for abuse,” they claimed.
China is also under fire for introducing a “social credit” system which has created a dystopian nightmare where citizens can track each other on radar-style “lowlife” scanners.
The nightmarish scheme blacklists “lazy” citizens who get into debt or spend their time playing video games in a creepy initiative that could have come straight out of Black Mirror.
Source : The Sun Link