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China Is Creating a Database of Its Citizens’ Voices to Boost its Surveillance Capability

Published: October 23, 2017
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Source: Time

The Chinese government has collected tens of thousands of “voice pattern” samples from targeted citizens and is inputting them into a national voice biometric database, according to a Human Rights Watch report published Monday.

The idea is that an automated system, thought to still be in development, will use the database to pick out individual voices in telephone and other conversations, boosting the government’s already expansive surveillance capabilities.

The system is reportedly being developed by a Chinese voice recognition and artificial intelligence specialist called iFlytech. It adds another spoke to existing biometric information like fingerprints and DNA samples, as well as identification numbers and other personal details.

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