China: Authorities Install Facial Recognition Software To Stop Toilet Paper Theft

The Temple of Heaven Park, located in central Beijing, is looking to stop a problem that has left its bathrooms with less and less toilet paper in recent years. The problem of this enormous park, which is visited by lots of people every month, may not seem like a big one to most people but it has gotten so bad in recent years that authorities have decided to install facing recognition software in the bathrooms.

In the park, toilet paper theft appears to be a big problem as people are said to be visiting the park just to take toilet paper home. The new technology installed prevents people from taking more than they need. The process is easy but you’ll have to wait for a while if you need more paper. All visitors have to do is make eye contact with the machine in the stall so they can receive a few sheets. The machine gives the person a few sheets and the facial recognition technology makes sure it doesn’t continue giving more sheets to the same person again. The visitors who actually need more sheets will reportedly need to wait nearly ten minutes for more.

The park is visited by many people but some were said to be leaving with toilet paper in their pockets and bags. The park has a minimal fee to enter and some people spoke with CNN about the toilet paper problem. Wu Qingqi, a visitor who spoke to CNN, said that many old people come to the park for free toilet paper. He says the technology is necessary because there are many people wasting public resources.

Park officials have installed six machines at its public bathrooms to stop toilet paper thieves. The Temple of Heaven is one of Beijing’s most visited parks and visitors will now need to make eye contact with a machine before they can get toilet paper. Facial recognition software in the stalls is something we don’t usually see in bathrooms but the technology is now part of six public bathrooms at the park.