Chinese officials apologise for privacy violation ofouting people wearing pyjamas in public

Government officials in Suzhou City in China’s Anhui province  have apologised for shaming people caught by surveillance cameras wearing pyjamas in public. The city had released seven photos, names, and addresses of people wearing nightwear, terming it uncivilised behaviour. It caused online outrage with many decrying the invasion of privacy. The city defended itself stating that they had entered a national competition on civilised behaviour. 

In 2018, China had 170 million CCTV cameras, and the figure is expected to reach 400 million by the end of 2020. Cities like Suzhou have powerful artificial intelligence (AI) and facial recognition technology. The public is increasingly raising concerns over the practices, with a citizen suing the city over a decision to enforce mandatory facial recognition in a wildlife park.

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