China’s surveillance and facial recognition technology are arguably the most advanced in the world. This technology is no longer only present in China, as China makes international deals to install surveillance systems for other governments around the world. One of the countries that are now benefiting from Chinese surveillance, and soon possibly facial recognition technology, is Ecuador. Ecuador has a new surveillance system, ECU-911, meant to expand automated policing and reduce crime rates.
Continuous surveillance by the Chinese government has eliminated privacy for the people. It is significant human rights abuse and, unfortunately, it is not well recognized or reported. What makes this bad situation worse is that China exports these technologies to other authoritarian governments, allowing them to control their people more effectively, because thought control requires monitoring people’s activities which needs mass surveillance.
We need to control the export of hardware and software that can be used for surveillance or tracking. Chinese engage in surveillance through social media and other mediums supported through technology. In the late centuries, computer and internet technology spread to China were developing more, resulting in the emergence of mass surveillance in a superlative degree. The most notable mechanisms are mass camera surveillance on the streets, Internet surveillance, and the newly invented surveillance based on social credit and identity.
China has given Ecuador a new surveillance system, ECU-911, that is meant to expand automated policing and reduce crime rates. Outside of Ecuador, similar systems have been sold to Bolivia, Angola, and the New York Times reports that 18 countries worldwide are currently using Chinese made monitoring systems. China isn’t the first country to have produced this technology, but activists are concerned that it has made these systems vastly cheaper for other countries to install, use, and ultimately, abuse.
Now that China is collaborating with other Communist governments across the globe to build large-scale surveillance systems, there is no reason not to be afraid of the violation of privacy and civil rights of the public. China is exporting AI-equipped surveillance technology to at least 54 countries around the world with government types ranging from closed authoritarian to flawed democracies. Through this action, China not only can spread its authoritarian governance, but it also makes these countries more vulnerable to cyber attacks by China.
Author: Rishika Chhabra