China Is Fighting Toilet Paper Thieves With Facial Recognition Software

(The Verge) Biometric authentication is moving from phones to laptops and onward to… public bathrooms. Chinese authorities in Beijing are now combating a toilet paper stealing epidemic by locking the supplies away behind a dispenser powered by facial recognition software, according to a report from The New York Times.

The unorthodox method ensures that the public bathroom at the Temple of Heaven Park disposes only a small amount of paper — approximately two feet in length — for each person once every nine minutes, following an initial face scan to store the identity of the user. The change marks the first time in a decade the park has taken such drastic measures to reduce its chronic toilet paper theft.

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