A protest against government surveillance has escalated into a series of riots, resulting in the destruction of ‘smart’ CCTV camera poles
On August 24, Hong Kong residents started a protest against facial recognition technology. According to the activists, the government is using the cameras installed in the streets to identify protesters and pressure them and their relatives. In order to conceal their identities, many rioters have resorted to hiding behind masks and umbrellas during protests.
Protesters are seriously worried about the way the government is using this technology. This is reflected in the way they tried to destroy CCTV cameras by overturning the ‘smart’ camera poles. As for the cameras themselves - the protesters did their best to smash them or pour some kind of liquid into them.
Since June, Hong Kong residents have been protesting against an unprecedented new law on the extradition of suspected criminals to mainland China. Protesters believe that this law will undermine the autonomous status of the region and violate citizens’ rights.
China is a leader among countries implementing facial recognition systems. This technological advantage offers a powerful surveillance instrument for the Chinese government. Naturally, these systems are usually justified as a means to increase security and comfort, but Hong Kong residents have already seen the full extent of the negative impact of this technology.
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