Tania Branigan writes in the Guardian:
Government claims technology will ease transport congestion, but experts warn it could be used to control dissent…
Human rights campaigners have expressed concerns over plans to track every mobile phone user in Beijing through global positioning technology.
Chinese media reported this week that pilot schemes were being introduced for an “information platform of real-time citizen movement” to help with traffic management.
Li Guoguang, deputy director of the Beijing municipal science and technology commission, said the project would be used to tackle congestion by allowing officials to monitor the flow of people through the transport system.
“To some degree, [it] can effectively increase citizens’ travelling efficiency and ease traffic jams,” he told the Beijing Daily.
He added that citizens would be able to buy the information, although more sensitive information – such as the location of individuals – would not be available.
But while Beijing’s roads are increasingly congested, experts say there are plenty of ways to assess and manage traffic and suggest the project is bound to be used for security purposes too.
Read More in the Guardian