A Reuters review of government documents reveals that dozens of Chinese firms have developed software that uses artificial intelligence to sort data collected on residents, in response to high demand from authorities looking to upgrade their surveillance tools.
According to more than 50 publicly available documents examined by Reuters, dozens of entities in China have purchased such software, known as "one person, one file," over the last four years. The technology improves on existing software, which simply collects data and then leaves it up to humans to organise. The new software improves on Beijing's current surveillance strategy. Although China's existing systems can collect data on individuals, it is up to law enforcement and other users to organise it.