Southern China to Tape Entire Population

China, in an effort to curb criminal activity, is installing 20,000 cameras in Shenzen. Cameras will track the city's 12.4 million people, and are fitted with software from American firm that promises to automatically detect the faces of those breaking the law.

But there's more: 180,000 other cameras are constantly filming in Shenzen, many closed for business use only. These cameras can be tied in with the police system for literally 10 times the cameras hooked to the system.

Citizens of Shenzen will also soon be required to carry ID cards that include normal name and address, but also "work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance status...even personal 'reproductive' history," the NY times explains.

Yes, it's totally the stuff of Big Brother. But honestly, I don't mind public cameras staring at me. It's the ones hidden in locker rooms I'm worried about (not that I'll be taped, but that someone will find it and track my signal). [nyt via boingboing]