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Emotion-sensing wristbands introduced for Beijing bus drivers. Experts are worried

The electronic bands were handed over to 1,800 drivers, especially those operating on long routes and highways.

September 26, 2022 / 02:52 PM IST
There are privacy concerns associated with the devices, experts say, (Representational image)

There are privacy concerns associated with the devices, experts say, (Representational image)

Bus drivers in Beijing were recently given wristbands that will monitor their emotions, a move that has left some experts worried, South China Morning Post reported.

The electronic bands were handed over to 1,800 drivers, especially those operating on long routes and highways, in an effort to promote safety amid frequent mishaps in the country, China Daily reported.

The devices given to drivers are equipped to monitor vital signs as well as anxiety and sleep. Data gathered from them can be sent to a command centre, where public transport authorities will be able to view it in real-time

"The emotion-sensing equipment is part of efforts to improve driving safety, which demonstrates care for drivers," Wu Ruidong, a news commentator was quoted as saying by China Daily. "By using science and technology to ensure public road safety, Beijing has set a good example for the rest of China."

But legal experts are worried the monitoring could put drivers under stress and cause discrimination.

One cybersecurity expert, Wang Congwei, said though the decision to monitor drivers was driven by public safety concern, did officials really need to collect so much of personal health information? SCMP reported.

They also wondered if authorities will be able to intervene immediately in case there are abnormalities “The data can only really be used afterwards for accident analysis," Wang added.

A Hong Kong-based professor said it needs to be considered how reliable that devices are.

The wristbands have been introduced after a bus crashed killed 27 people on their way to a quarantine centre in Guiyang city earlier this month.

 
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first published: Sep 26, 2022 02:50 pm