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Chinese university uses facial recognition for campus entry

A number of higher education institutions in China have deployed biometric solutions for access and payments in recent months, and adding to the list is Peking University. The university has now installed facial recognition readers at perimeter access gates to control access to its Beijing campus.

As reported by the South China Morning Post, anyone attempting to enter through the southwestern gate of the university will no longer have to provide a student ID card. Starting this month, students will present their faces to a camera as part of a trial run of the system ahead of full-scale deployment.

According to a university release, Peking built its facial recognition system using existing photos printed on student and staff ID cards. There is no word yet regarding the exact enrollment procedures for new and incoming students.

The university is, however, still working out some of the kinks, as a number of students were not recognized by the system and were told to have their ID photos retaken. The issue was reportedly a result of the pixels on the ID card photos not exactly matching what is required for the facial recognition scans.

Nevertheless, perimeter gates aren’t Peking’s first foray into biometrics on campus, having previously deployed roughly two dozen facial recognition devices at campus libraries, classrooms, residence halls, rec centers and computer labs.

Peking joins a growing number of biometric deployments at universities in the region. The neighboring Beijing Normal University, for example, has installed a hybrid solution that leverages facial recognition cameras and a voice recognition system to identify students at residence halls.

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