China Public Security Technology, which the New York Times (via CNET) says is a Florida company backed by U.S. investors, is apparently behind one of the largest people-tracking networks in the world, tracking citizens of Shenzhen city.
The network uses 20,000 intelligent digital cameras and RFID chip cards to keep track of the 12.4 million people living in the major Chinese hub city. Data on the chips will include citizen’s name and address but also work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance status and landlord’s phone number.
The Times article says the company raised money from investment funds in Plano, Tex., Pinnacle Fund (see bare-bones web site) and Pinnacle China Fund, and that three investment banks — Roth Capital Partners in Newport Beach, Calif.; Oppenheimer & Company in New York; and First Asia Finance Group of Hong Kong — helped raise the money. We’re looking at the company’s Web site, and see that it’s a publicly traded (OTC Bulletin Board: CPBY) company, but it doesn’t mention a Florida headquarters that the Times refers to. Odd. Here’s more.
Notable, too, is that the tracking system uses Microsoft’s Windows operating system, and technology from IBM, Cisco, HP and Dell.
Separate but related: Back here in the U.S., the WSJ has a piece about how the US Department of Homeland Security will begin sharing US spy satellite data with law enforcement and other customers, and notes that spy satellite data may not be clearly subject to legislative and judicial control. We’re not sure what’s worse. Being tracked by U.S. technology in China, or being tracked by U.S. technology in the U.S.?