China Plans to Track Beijing Citizens Through Their Cell Phones

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Photo: Kristoferb (CC)

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

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  • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

    I’m not too worried about this in particular. The fact is, we’re already at the bottom of the slippery slope here. Governments are already using cellphones to track specific people’s movements; they can even turn on the mic and camera for survailence purposes if they like.

  • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

    I’m not too worried about this in particular. The fact is, we’re already at the bottom of the slippery slope here. Governments are already using cellphones to track specific people’s movements; they can even turn on the mic and camera for survailence purposes if they like.

  • Hadrian999

    we must fear china for doing what everyone is doing already

  • Hadrian999

    we must fear china for doing what everyone is doing already

  • Hadrian999

    we must fear china for doing what everyone is doing already

  • DeepCough

    Sorry, Commie China: Capitalist America already beat you to this Orwellian technology.

  • DeepCough

    Sorry, Commie China: Capitalist America already beat you to this Orwellian technology.

  • TennesseeCyberian

    The fact that the government knows where I am driving really bothers me. But what bothers me even more is that angels and ghosts are watching me when I’m in the bathroom.

  • JoJoDancer

    The fact that the government knows where I am driving really bothers me. But what bothers me even more is that angels and ghosts are watching me when I’m in the bathroom.

  • saint_al
  • saint_al
  • BuzzCoastin

    If you carry a mobile phone, you can be tracked or bugged
    any time your mobile phone carrier pleases. They know where
    you are within 5 meters. They can turn on the microphone and
    record all sound near it, without your knowledge or consent.
    Any security or police service can apply enough pressure that
    all the carriers have to be obedient. Looks like the Chinese finally figured out what Uncle Sam, has known for years.

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