The software is already widely used, often to monitor citizens. But authorities have come under fire for using it to crack down and monitor dissent.
"There's a big risk ... that the state could use this data for their own purposes, such as surveillance, monitoring, the tracking of political dissidents, social and information control, ethnic profiling, as in the case with Uighurs in Xinjiang, and even predictive policing," says Adam Ni, China researcher at Macquarie University in Sydney.
This is certainly one of the more contentious aspects of the gathering of facial recognition data and the usage of them. Despite the concerns over data security and privacy, many consumers seem unperturbed by facial recognition payment in the high street.