Chinese tech companies to shape UN standards on facial recognition

According to leaked documents obtained by the Financial Times, Chinese tech companies are attempting to shape new facial recognition and surveillance standards at the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU).  While China’s influence in drafting standards has grown in recent years, Chinese groups such as ZTE and China Telecom are among those proposing new international standards for facial recognition, video monitoring, city and vehicle surveillance. According to Mehwish Ansari, Article 19, ‘there are virtually no human rights, consumer protection, or data protection experts present in ITU standards meetings so many of the technologies that threaten privacy and freedom of expression remain unchallenged in these spaces’.