China is fighting toilet paper thieves with facial recognition software

China is now taking steps to wipe-out the theft of loo-roll by installing some facial-recognition cameras in one of its most busy toilets.

People using this toilet in Tiantan Park in Beijing which is one of the city’s major tourist sites will be receiving only a 60 centimetre serving of paper after they are done with a facial scan.

Once a person takes the loo-role, the software will deny the same person to have a new role within nine minutes of his first scan, reports said.

The authorities acted after a increasing number of visitors to public toilets in China have raided their dispensers and taken paper back to their home for daily use.

“Some people still lack a paper use manners,” said a report by the China Radio International (CRI).

CRI found a toilet attendant saying: “Some people take more paper than they need and sometimes even take a whole roll away with them”.

“Sometimes total paper is used up in just twenty minutes.”

The toilet paper use at one of the public toilets nearby the park has dropped from 20 to four rolls in just three days, reports said.

However, these new toilet dispensers have already drawn complaints that they don’t actually work.

Concerns have also made that waiting time of 30 seconds may cause problems for people who are in an urgent situation.

A toilet-user told the Beijing Evening News.“If anyone is in an emergency but the machine is broken and there is no one to help, this could be very troublesome and awkward.”

Meanwhile, the subject was being widely discussed on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.

“I can’t believe people who steal the toilet paper could be living in an apartment worth millions of yuan,” said one comment.

“I am a bit uncomfortable about being watched in such places,” said another.

 

Additional reporting by Christine Wei

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