Daily Drip

Facial Recognition Technology Leads to Immediate Arrest of 25 Wanted Criminals at Beer Festival


That’s right – not one, not two, but twenty-five wanted criminals were arrested at the Qingdao Beer Festival, after being pinned by facial recognition software checkpoints at entrances.

In addition to the 25 wanted criminals who were scooped up immediately, the technology also registered individuals with histories of drug abuse, 19 of whom tested positive for illegal substances and were later arrested. Throw in five people with prior convictions for theft who, when checked, were arrested having been found to have stolen phones and valuables at the event, and you have a total of 49 arrests. One of the guys had been on the run for ten years. That’s a hard way to go in – no one wants to be unceremoniously handcuffed as he strolls in for a day of beer-drinking.

“Those wanted criminals let their guard down when they went to the festival, which doesn’t check for ID,” Li Peng, head of the local police’s publicity department told Sixth Tone, “But they were not aware that a simple shot of their faces would lead to their arrest.”

It bodes well for the quickly-improving functionality of facial recognition technology – 2017 has already seen a steady flow of facial recognition success stories. At the same time, it is kind of scary to realize we’re moving towards a reality where you can be arrested by a robot. Today, Qingdao Beer Festival, tomorrow, the world.

Adan Kohnhorst
Adan Kohnhorst is a US-based writer, producer, multimedia artist, and former associate editor at RADII. His work has been featured in publications such as Maxim and the Chinese-language StreetVoice, and he’s an active member of the hip hop and DIY music scenes in Shanghai, NYC, and Dallas. He learned Mandarin in high school to train at the Shaolin Temple but now uses it to interview rappers. He blogs about China and Asia on Instagram: @this.is.adan
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