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Chinese Facial Recognition Company Exposes Data of Millions of People

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metamorworks /

Chinese facial recognition company SenseNets has reportedly exposed the data of millions of people after failing to secure its database with a password. The unprotected database was discovered Wednesday by Dutch security expert Victor Gevers.

“There is this company in China named SenseNets. They make artificial intelligence-based security software systems for face recognition, crowd analysis, and personal verification. And their business IP and millions of records of people tracking data are fully accessible to anyone,” Gevers, a security researcher at GDI Foundation, announced in a tweet.

In a message to CNet, Gevers said that from the last 24 hours alone, there were already 6.8 million data location logs that could be accessed by anyone. Meaning, anyone can track a person’s movements just by looking at the data provided by the facial recognition company.

Read More: Cops Now Using Facial Recognition Glasses In China To Spot Criminals

Facial Recognition Company Fails in Securing Data

The logged locations include places like hotels, tourist spots, police stations, parks, internet cafes, and mosques. All these were apparently gathered through the 1,039 unique tracking devices used by SenseNets across China.

“This database contains over 2.565.724 records of people with personal information like ID card number issue & expire date, sex, nation, address, birthday, pass photo, employer and which locations with trackers they have passed in the last 24 hours which is about 6.680.348 records,” Gevers further said.

Gevers also revealed that one of the cameras was monitoring the Uygur population in Xinjiang. Uygur is a Muslim minority group that has been heavily targeted by the Chinese government in recent times.

The GDI Foundation has already reached out to the facial recognition company to warn it about the unsecured database which has been available to the public since July last year. However, SenseNets has not made any comment about the matter.

According to reports, thousands of cameras have been deployed by the government — with more to be installed in the coming years — in public places across the country to be used in implementing the Social Credit Score system by 2020.

Read More: China Uses AI, Facial Recognition, And Shame For Law Enforcement

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Chelle Fuertes

Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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