From December 1, 2019, people applying for a new telephone number in China will have to undergo a facial scan by the service provider, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced on September 27 in a note.
According to the Chinese authorities, the measure is part of a series of efforts “to protect the rights and interests of citizens in cyberspace” and to limit internet and telephone fraud.
In addition to face recognition, users are banned from passing their mobile phone numbers to others
In many other countries, an identification document is required to obtain a telephone contract.
The new rules come at a time when the government is trying to control the activities taking place in the country’s network more and more scrupulously.
President Xi Jinping recently promoted the idea of ”cyber-sovereignty”, requiring other countries to comply with the regulations in force in China, where we remember countless foreign sites such as Facebook, Google, Youtube, and so on.
The new regulation updates the 2013 legislation which only required an identification document to obtain a telephone number.
According to some more critical Chinese netizens, despite the new regulations introduced, the scams have not diminished, but the privacy space has eroded even more.
According to Victor Gevers, a researcher at the cybersecurity company GDI Foundation, in March, a Chinese database containing hundreds of millions of Chinese messaging app chat logs, including WeChat and QQ had been published online, remaining accessible and searchable.