A Chinese theme park is replacing tickets with facial recognition, reports The Verge.
The park is actually a 1300-year-old town called Wuzhen, and its historic character has been very effectively commodified as the town has been transformed into a theme park that is now a major tourist attraction. The park previously used a combination of physical tickets and fingerprint scanning to authenticate visitors, but it’s now relying entirely on facial recognition. Guests register their facial biometrics when they first arrive at Wuzhen, and their pictures are subsequently taken to verify their identities as paid attendees when approaching certain checkpoints throughout the park.
The technology was provided by Baidu, a company that has been more notable lately for its speech recognition technology. But the company says its facial recognition technology can authenticate guests almost as quickly as they walk by a camera.
As for where the biometric data goes, that’s left up to the park operator. It isn’t clear if state authorities have sought access to this information for security purposes, but Baidu is framing the deployment exclusively in terms of administrative efficiency, with a company executive telling The Verge that it’s in negotiations to bring this technology to other them parks, too.
Source: The Verge
November 21, 2016 – by Alex Perala