The rubric “Made in China” contains weekly news from the Middle Kingdom, not included in the main stream of 4PDA: announcements, rumors and simply interesting events from the life of the main supplier of electronic goods in the world. From this release you will learn about the massive data leakage from the base of the smart city; Xiaomi smartphone flight into space and the construction of spongy cities for flood control.
The database of the smart city was in the public domain.
Smart cities are designed to make people's lives easier and safer, eliminating traffic jams, crime, public transport delays, problems with public utilities, etc. To do this, neural networks process huge amounts of data from various sensors and cameras. All information must be stored somewhere, and therefore there is a chance of its leakage. That is what happened in China. Security researcher John Wettington discovered that the Beijing database was freely available through a web browser.
The detected database contained gigabytes of information, including scans of the faces of hundreds of people monitored for several months. The information was on Alibaba servers. They contained links to a cloud platform with the support of artificial intelligence, developed by the technology giant, but company representatives deny their involvement in the scandal.
“This database project was created and posted by the customer on the Alibaba Cloud platform. We always recommend our customers to protect their data with a secure password. We have already informed everyone about this incident so that they can immediately solve the problem. As a provider of public cloud storage, we do not have access to the content of our users, ”an Alibaba spokesman said.
The location of cameras on the streets of Beijing
Leak allowed to understand how the smart city system works. She is responsible for tracking residents of at least two small areas in eastern Beijing, the largest of which is Lianmaqiao or the embassy district. Data is collected by several cameras capable of performing facial recognition in real time. From the information available to the public, you can determine exactly where, when and how often people went. All this allows the police or other bodies to form an idea of a person’s daily life.
The system processes various details of the face: whether the eyes or the mouth are open, whether the sunglasses are worn or a mask, if the person is smiling or if he has a beard. The database also contains the approximate age of each resident and an individual estimate, which is affected by several parameters.
Part of face scan data
The information collected may also be used not for the most pious purposes. For example, the system is able to recognize faces to identify certain ethnic groups. This data can be used to identify suspects in the area, as well as for the targeted identification of certain castes. According to the UN Human Rights Committee, last year the Chinese government detained more than a million Uighurs. It is also known that the police have a special application for tracking Uighur Muslims.
Scans of individuals in real time are checked against the police base.
The system is able to use the collected data to detect people suspected of committing crimes or that are of increased interest to the state. From this it follows that it could be developed by order of the authorities. Each time a camera is fixed by a person, a note appears in the database with the date, time, location and other details. The names of the suspects and their national identification number were found in several records.
Redmi Note 7 conquered space
To prove the reliability of the smartphone Redmi Note 7, the company Xiaomi sent him to conquer space. For this purpose, a modified version of the weather probe with a gas-filled balloon was used. During the experiment, it was possible to reach the upper layer of the stratosphere at an altitude of 35,375 meters from the surface of the Earth, where the temperature was -58 ° C and the atmospheric pressure was 1 kPa.
Five smartphones were launched on the ball into space: one continuously took pictures of the Earth to its 48-megapixel camera, the second shot a video, and three more vehicles lay in a special bag. Also, GoPro custom cameras, protected from low temperatures, were installed on the design. At maximum height, the gas ball burst, and the design began to fall. As a result, she landed 200 meters from the expected location, but all the smartphones survived and worked without any problems. The Xiaomi team managed to get some unique photos of our planet.
The whole flight took 2 hours and 3 minutes, of which 1 hour and 27 minutes the ball lifted smartphones up, and then the whole structure fell for 36 minutes.
Sponge cities to be built in China
Flooding is one of the main climatic problems for China in terms of total damage. Therefore, the country joined the international initiative “The Sponge City Initiative”, whose goal is to control the movement of large-scale precipitation. As part of the project, 30 major cities of the Middle Kingdom will switch to the so-called spongy architecture.
The idea is to create special systems within cities that can collect, filter and store water during rain. A unique technology is being developed for each locality, taking into account the specifics of the region. For example, in Lingang, for $ 119 million, roads with permeable cover and a water-park green zone were made. They are able to accumulate water and use it for the needs of the city, including for watering plants, thus avoiding droughts. It also allows you to maintain a comfortable level of humidity.
At the initiative of The Sponge City Initiative, Chinese authorities have allocated 12 billion dollars, which is only 20% of the required amount. The remaining 80% will be received in the form of investments from private companies. It is expected that by 2020, 80% of the urban districts of the Middle Kingdom will be able to process up to 70% of all precipitation.