Police in China have begun using sunglasses equipped with facial recognition technology in order to locate wanted suspects.
The new tool, given to officers in Central China’s Henan Province, has reportedly led to the arrest of more than 30 people at the Zhengzhou East Railway Station since Thursday.
According to China News Service, the country’s second largest state-owned news agency, seven kidnapping and hit-and-run suspects as well as 26 individuals accused of using fake IDs were arrested after being identified with the technology.
Zhang Xiaolei, an employee with Henan’s Department of Public Security, stated Tuesday that each suspect’s face is run through a central database during their encounters with police.
“The facial information captured by the glasses will be sent back to a database for comparison with the information of suspects on the wanted list,” Xiaolei told the Global Times, a local newspaper aligned with the Communist Party of China.
Zhang also revealed that the new technology works effectively with only one image as opposed to previous tools that required multiple pictures from numerous angles.
The Global Times alleged that travelers were undeterred by the increase in surveillance at the railway station.
“I took the high-speed train from Zhengzhou East Railway Station on Sunday, and it didn’t feel any difference from my previous trip. I didn’t notice any police using special devices,” commuter Wang Chuanxi said.
Facial recognition technology is also used alongside what China calls “the world’s biggest camera surveillance network.” The country currently has more than 170 million CCTV cameras with an estimated 400 million more to come in the next three years.
“We can match every face with an ID card and trace all your movements back one week in time,” Yin Jun, a representative with surveillance camera manufacturer Dahua Technology, told the BBC last year. “We can match your face with your car, match you with your relatives and the people you’re in touch with. With enough cameras, we can know who you frequently meet.”