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Wanted man caught at concert thanks to facial recognition

Suspect thought he was safe among 70,000 concert-goers

This article originally appeared on ABACUS

He thought he was just another face in the crowd.

That was what a Chinese man told police when he was arrested at a music concert in China thanks to facial recognition technology.

The suspect -- who has only been identified by his surname, Ao -- was attending a concert  by Hong Kong singer Jacky Cheung when police swooped after he was spotted by the venue’s security cameras.
Local media footage of the cameras used to capture Ao. (Picture: Kankan news).

He had been on a police watchlist for “economic crimes” -- a broad term that can include anything from tax evasion to the theft of public property.

Organizers say there were more than 50,000 people there -- a fact the suspect said he had hoped would help him hide.

“He didn’t anticipate being caught by the police in such a massive crowd,” one of the arresting officers told local media.
Authorities in China are increasingly turning towards technology, raising concerns around privacy in a country that has plenty of surveillance cameras and wants to build a national database of faces.
At a railway station in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou, police have been equipped with “smart glasses” to locate faces matching their criminal database -- with officials claiming the technology has helped catch human trafficking suspects.

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