Fine For Scratching Nose A Wake-Up Call On AI Surveillance!

Fine For Scratching Nose A Wake-Up Call On AI Surveillance!

The recent case of a Chinese driver getting fine for scratching his face is a funny example of current AI surveillance technology. Yet it is also a wake-up call on the dangers of pervasive AI surveillance by the state.


Fined For Scratching Nose By AI Surveillance System!


A Jinan resident, Mr. Liu, was driving his car in the eastern Shandong province, when he raised his hand to touch his face. Most of us unconsciously do that 2 to 5 times per minute!


Unbeknownst to him, one of the many AI surveillance cameras in the city noticed his action, and issued him a fine of 50 yuan* and 2 demerit points for “driving while holding a phone”.


* Approximately $7.25 / £5.70 / €6.50 / RM 30


The Jinan AI surveillance system also send him this screenshot of his traffic violation, as captured at 7:20 AM on 20 May 2019.



Just like many automated systems (looking at you, Facebook and Google!), there was no way to dispute the charge. Mr. Liu tried to sort out the situation over the phone, but “no one would help him”.


He only got justice by appealing to the court of public opinion on Sina Weibo, where his post went viral. Only then did the Jinan traffic police department take notice and investigated his complaint.



Two days later, they cancelled his ticket after confirming that he was only touching his face, not actually using a phone while driving.

AI Surveillance In Chinese Cities


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