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Surveillance or Spying? China to Track All Cars in 2019 With a New 'Mandatory' Technique

After brainwave detection and facial scanning, here is the new surveillance system that is next on China's agenda.

Updated:June 18, 2018, 4:12 PM IST
Surveillance or Spying? China to Track All Cars in 2019 With a New 'Mandatory' Technique
Representative Image. (Image: REUTERS)
China is notoriously famous for keeping a tab on its citizens through the various aspects of their lives. So much so that the country has a social credit system based on their activities, which rates how valuable they are to the society as an individual.

Now the country is set to introduce another tracking technology. Beginning in 2019, China will reportedly make it a mandate for cars to be equipped with a trackable RFID tag. As per reports, the technology will be similar to that used in the US for highway tolls.

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In practice, the technology will allow the government to keep a tab on each and every car on the roads of China. Each time a car with the RFID tag will pass through a checkpoint, the location and other information of the car will be recorded and kept by the government. Moreover, the fact that the technology will be mandatory implies that there is no escaping this by anyone driving a vehicle on the roads of the country.

As a part of their justification for the move, Chinese authorities have been reported of calling this a way to tackle “traffic congestion” in the country. The point to be noted here, however, is that radar systems are enough to keep a tab on the number of vehicles at a particular checkpoint. All the efforts with the new surveillance system hint towards a much larger surveillance agenda that comes very close to spying.

The new vehicle surveillance mechanism will be rolled out in China starting July 1 on a voluntary basis. Starting 2019, the program will be mandatory for all the vehicle owners in the country.

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| Edited by: Sarthak Dogra
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