Chinese Officials Shame People for Doing Errands Outside Their Homes in Pyjamas

Published January 22nd, 2020 - 07:48 GMT
The picture posted by Suzhou City Urban Management Bureau in eastern China and obscured by MailOnline shows one woman walking on a street in the city while wearing a pink robe. (Daily Mail)
The picture posted by Suzhou City Urban Management Bureau in eastern China and obscured by MailOnline shows one woman walking on a street in the city while wearing a pink robe. (Daily Mail)
Highlights
Relevant officials have apologised and taken down the controversial post

A city in eastern China has named and shamed residents for going outside in their pyjamas by posting pictures of them and their ID information, sparking an outcry.

The authority of Suzhou in the province of Anhui yesterday released pictures of seven people walking on streets, in shops and at markets while donning loungewear.

The images, which clearly showed their faces, were posted together with their surname, ID portrait, part of their ID number and where they had been caught. 

The punishing notice immediately drew waves of criticism. Suzhou officials had to apologise over the matter after being accused of evading citizens' privacy.  

The post was uploaded onto popular Chinese messaging app WeChat by Suzhou City Urban Management Bureau yesterday.

The public shaming was aimed at 'exposing uncivilised behaviour' and 'improving citizens' moral standard', the article said.

It is reported that the authority identified the 'offenders' using facial recognition technology.  

China's has built a massive database with personal information belonging to residents and tourists using state surveillance empowered by artificial intelligence.

The high-tech network is also used to penalise jaywalkers. Citizens who run the red light will see pictures of them screened at the junction where they were caught, alongside some of their personal information. 

The official announcement from Suzhou was quickly blasted by the country's web users. 

On Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter, many people claimed that the officials' method was unlawful.

 

One typical comment read: 'Even suspected criminals have privacy. Releasing normal residents' ID portraits to show their faces, is this what they call "civilisation"?! This is illegal.' 

Another person regarded the act of wearing pyjamas 'very normal': 'We are used to going out in pyjamas in our hometown.'

A third challenged the officials' judging criteria: 'How do you define "uncivilised"?'

Suzhou city Urban Management Bureau took down the controversial post yesterday and apologised to the public. 

It said the blunder was caused by failure of quality control of its articles. It vowed to prevent similar things from happening in the future. 

China's surveillance network has been billed as the world's most powerful facial-recognition system and aims to identify any of its 1.4 billion citizens within three seconds.

The country's residents are set to be carefully watched by 626 million street monitors as early as next year, according to a study. 

China has the five most-monitored cities in the world. Its most-surveilled city, Chongqing, is equipped with more than 2.5 million street cameras, or one for every six people.  

Critics have voiced concerns over the system, claiming it's a way for the government to invade citizens' privacy and restrict their freedom.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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