Organizers are planning to use biometrics to weed out cheaters in an upcoming half marathon in Beijing.
As The Telegraph reports, the development comes amid a “fitness craze” sweeping across China, with 2016 having seen twice as many marathon runners as the year before. But amid that increasing interest there have also been sporadic reports of registrants paying people to run in their place, apparently in order to win acclaim on social media. (Some of the races offer prizes, but presumably the ringers are being paid more than they think they could win on their own.)
Accordingly, the General Administration of Sport of China has announced that it will use facial recognition to register and authenticate participants in this weekend’s run, helping to ensure that participants can’t hire replacements to finish their races for them.
The move appears to reflect an increasingly casual approach to the use of facial recognition in China, with KFC having launched a partially automated ‘smart restaurant’ system using such technology at the start of this year, and recent reports of a major historical park implementing the technology to regulate the use of toilet paper in its washrooms.
The Beijing half marathon is scheduled for this Sunday.
Source: The Telegraph
April 13, 2017 – by Alex Perala