Jaywalk Here, and Prepare to Be Publicly Shamed

China street screens broadcast not just photos but the person's ID, home address
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2017 8:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – Jaywalkers take heed: If you do it in parts of China, you could be in for the shaming of your life. Authorities have installed a new device called the "Electronic Police" at intersections in cities in four provinces. Not only does it detect when people are jaywalking, but it snaps photos of the offenders and uses facial recognition tech to pull up their images in the provincial police database, reports RT. Once police confirm a match, the person isn't just flagged for the offense (they can choose whether to pay a fine, take a safety class, or volunteer with traffic police). Their photo and personal details, including parts of their ID number and home address, are displayed on a large screen for all passersby to see.

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Facial recognition has already been used in China to catch toilet paper thieves in public restrooms and to predict orders at the fast food chain KFC, reports the AFP. But the use of public shaming takes things to a whole new level—one that local police say is proving effective. They say public shaming can go so far as to impact insurance and pension premiums, and police in the city of Jinan say they've caught more than 6,200 people crossing at red lights since installing the system in early May (yes, that's less than two months), with the number of incidents dropping ten-fold from 200 per day to 20. Jinan is looking to install the system at 50 other major intersections by the end of June, each costing the city roughly $15,000, reports Mashable. (Texting pedestrians are hit with fines in parts of New Jersey.)

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