The biometric Facial Recognition system is slowly, slowly being expanded in Europe.
By Marica Micallef
The facial recognition system is taking up speed in various countries, moving the masses to total digital surveillance, under the veil of a digital commodity.
In China, a machine that uses the facial recognition system is being used to take payment for food:
Chinese students also use facial recognition system to buy and pay for food:
Now this is a system whose experiment has started in the same China back in 2019, together with QR codes and WeChat pay. The following footage explores this technological development and how China has been already in the game of driving the nation into a cashless one:
Only Covid was needed to start pushing other nations to follow the same route.
As I have already pointed out in another blog, Moscow is the first city in the world to implement a large-scale facial recognition system for fare payment in train stations, a system which has been tested on self-driving buses in the local area. The service is available at all 250 metro stations and the MCC’s Kutuzovskaya station. What better places than crowded stations, which are highly used by commuters, to start installing controlling methods?
But this biometric system has been expanded, after Maxim Liksutov, Sergey Sobyanin’s duputy, announced that Moscow would be expanding its “safe and convenient” Face Pay system. Sergey Sobyanin is a Russian politician who has been serving as the third mayor of Moscow since 21st October 2010.
And unfortunately, it is the masses who are helping in bringing it forth. According to reliable and trustworthy data cited by Moscow City Hall, what kind of feedback has Sobyanin’s safe and convenient payment method received? The feedback was that Muscovites love Face Pay because it’s safe and convenient, as Liksutov explained in a recent op-ed for Vedomosti. Commuters, in fact, can’t stop fantasizing about paying with their faces and it’s what they’re after and that the public wants more Face Pay. Thus, Liksutov understands their desires, and he gives them the cure. This was his response:
“Among the disadvantages that we still need to work on, passengers indicated a small number of turnstiles that can be passed through using biometrics. Most stations have 1-2 Face Pay turnstiles installed, at some stations we have already increased their number at the request of users… [A]fter updating the turnstiles in the metro, at least 200 more will be able to accept payment by biometrics. If necessary, we will further increase the number of such turnstiles.”
“Passengers are asking to implement Face Pay passes on social cards, including for students and schoolchildren—we are discussing and evaluating this possibility.”
Perhaps some of you are hesitant to switch to a payment system that automatically deducts digital rubles from your Sber account when a camera recognizes your face. But why is this bothering you?
According to Liksutov, China is already doing it—and Russia is doing it better: “Facial recognition fare collection system is being implemented in China, but we are ahead…”
What Liksutov is not telling the people is that in the same China, a Chinese school is using this facial recognition system to check whether students are paying attention or not. If a student looks distracted, the computer, with three cameras installed above the board, informs the teacher. These cameras surveil students’ movements, behaviour, and students’ facial expressions. What if other schools follow? And who do you think is promoting this as feeling like an extra teaching assistant in class? The World Economic Forum:
Did we mention that Face Pay is “safer and more reliable than paying with a bank card,” in addition to being extremely convenient? Sergey Sobyanin is dedicated to ensuring that every Muscovite is safe and never inconvenienced:
“Payment by biometrics in the Moscow metro, launched on behalf of Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, is an important stage in the development of our ticketing system and a convenient way for passengers to pay for travel, which we will continue to develop.”
Local media reported that Moscow City Hall has been inundated with Thank You cards. Every patriotic Russian, according to Katyusha.org, supports the ongoing construction of “a biometric concentration camp in Moscow.”
But, from about 20 million people using Moscow’s subways every day, only 50,000 people are using Face Pay. Even though the Russian government is enticing its nation to do so by giving money since in one of Moscow’s central subway train stations, Pushkinskey, there is a poster that says “Cashback of 10 rubles if you pay for the subway rides with face pay,” not everyone is following for it:
The question lies in what will happen if whole nations are pushed towards this, whether they want it or not, because it becomes the sole method available. Hence why there should be resistance.
But is this “Big Brother” surveillance type convenience worth the loss of privacy? Are you truly willing to have an algorithm recognizing your face, and connecting you to your debit card so that payment passes through? Isn’t this what the technocrats want?