This article originally appeared on ABACUS The illegal sale of facial recognition data in China is nothing new , but now there’s a new twist: Facial images with masks are selling online. Now that AI can recognize masked faces , some of those images are being leaked and sold online for as little as 0.05 yuan (US$0.007) per image, according to a report by state-run China News Service. Sellers told the news outlet that the masked facial images are crawled from public websites and gathered from social media. Some of the images are even from scans of people entering their office buildings or residential neighborhoods, although it’s not clear how these were gathered. One vendor reportedly sells a database of about 20,000 such images for 1,000 yuan (US$140). The coronavirus outbreak has resulted in people wearing masks everywhere they go, thwarting facial recognition systems early on before pushing companies to adapt. By mapping more key points and gathering more accurate information from a person’s eyes and nose, some AI companies were able to overcome the challenge. There’s even a hack to get Apple’s Face ID to work with masks . Purchase the China AI Report 2020 brought to you by SCMP Research and enjoy a 20% discount (original price US$400). This 60-page all new intelligence report gives you first-hand insights and analysis into the latest industry developments and intelligence about China AI. Get exclusive access to our webinars for continuous learning, and interact with China AI executives in live Q&A. Offer valid until 31 March 2020.