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China is Now Forcing Every Single Phone Users to Go Through Government Mandated Face Scans

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This past Sunday, AFP reported that China moved forward with a plan to require telecom operators to collect face scans when they register new phone users at offline outlets according to a report from the country’s information technology ministry.

China’s move to carry out facial scans is part of its campaign to strengthen its cyberspace controls.

In September, China’s industry and information technology ministry released a notice on “safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of citizens online”, which set rules for enforcing real-name registration.

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The notice recommended that telecom operators use “artificial intelligence and other technical means” to confirm people’s identities when they acquire a new phone number.

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A China Unicom customer service representative told AFP that the December 1 “portrait matching” requirement would make customers registering for a new phone number have to record themselves blinking and turning their head in order to verify their identity.

“In next steps, our ministry will continue to…increase supervision and inspection…and strictly promote the management of real-name registration for phone users,” the September notice stated.

Since 2013, the Chinese government has advocated for real-name registration for phone users. In other words, ID cards would be linked to new phone numbers. Now, however, the Chinese government is pivoting towards AI as facial recognition gains popularity across China where the technology is used in a broad range of activities ranging from supermarket checkouts to surveillance.

Chinese social media users had a mixed reaction towards the December 1 facial verification notice. Many expressed concerns that their biometric data could be leaked or sold.

“This is a bit too much,” one user posted under an article about China’s new rules on the Twitter knock-off Weibo.

“Control, and then more control,” another user posted.

Although researchers are worried about the privacy risks that gathering facial recognition data entails, Chinese consumers have largely accepted the technology.

However, China witnessed one of its first lawsuits on facial recognition last month.

In early November, a Chinese professor sued a safari park in Hangzhou for mandating face scans before entering the venue, according to the local court.

Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, China has taken a more authoritarian turn that is reminiscent of the Maoist era.

With 21st century technology at their disposal, China is pushing the limits of hi-tech authoritarianism.

Such displays of government overreach could likely be exported to the West if U.S. companies and elected officials don’t take a stand against China and re-assert Western-style civil liberties.

Culture

Starbucks Barista FIRED After Refusing to Wear “Pride” T-Shirt for Religious Reasons, According to Lawsuit

She is a Christian and was apparently told by her manager that she didn’t have to wear it.

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A former Starbucks barista is filing an unlawful discrimination lawsuit against the coffee giant, claiming they fired her for refusing to wear a “Pride” t-shirt that violated her Christian religious convictions.

Betsy Fresse started working as a barista in December 2015. After transferring to a Glen Ridge, New Jersey, store in early 2019, managers apparently “assured” her that her Christian faith wouldn’t be an issue.

Then in June 2019, she noticed a box of Pride shirts on a desk and asked if they’d make her wear one. Her store manager said she wouldn’t have to, but two months later she found herself out of a job after being terminated by a district manager.

A notice of separation claims that Fresse was fired for violating Starbucks’ “core values.” It specifically mentions an incident where she said her colleagues “need Jesus” when given the “Pride” shirt.

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Starbucks maintains that “no part of our dress code requires partners to wear any approved items that they have not personally selected” and that Fresse’s claims are “without merit,” in a comment to the New York Post.

So Starbucks denies that she was fired for not wearing the shirt, yet their notice of separation appears to claim that they fired her for something she said about Jesus. Not a good look either way.

Fresse is seeking backpay, punitive damages, money to cover the cost of an attorney, and a permanent injunction that prevents Starbucks from “failing to accommodate […] sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Starbucks has long been a major player in the world of Woke Capital. Back in February Big League Politics reported on how the British branch of Starbucks was raising money for a pro-transgender lobbying group:

The U.K. branch of Starbucks is raising money to push for the chemical castration and surgical mutilation of children.

Nathanael Blake at The Federalist reported that the multinational titan is selling special mermaid-shaped cookies to help the pro-transgender lobbying group Mermaids. Curiously, the group’s founder took her underage son to Thailand to undergo a castration procedure.

Blake correctly observed “That Starbucks is supporting this group illustrates how thoroughly radicals have conquered both the LGBT movement and corporate culture.”

He also called attention to how “In a few years the fight has shifted from government recognition of same-sex relationships as legal marriages to mastectomies, sterilization, and castration for children.”

Here’s hoping that Betsy Fresse is successful in her lawsuit.

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