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Report: Chinese facial recognition technology allows Iran to identify women who violate strict dress codes

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Iranian authorities could be using new technology in order to enforce strict country dress codes for women. They may also expand the use of facial recognition technology for imposing fines on those who break the rules.

“Many people aren’t being arrested on the streets,” Shaparak Shajarizadeh said to Wired. Shaparak Shajarizadeh fled Iran to Canada in 2018, after numerous violations of Iran’s strict laws. He became an activist and reported Tuesday. “They were arrested at home one or two days after.”

Shajarizadeh, one of several Iranian observers, fears that Iran’s Islamist government has started to use facial recognition technology for punishing women who break laws about how they dress or appear in public. This is a setback for activists who have been protesting for months for women’s rights.

Iran is being feared to be using the technology, one year after the proposal for such a system by Iranian lawmakers. The head of the government agency that enforces morality laws heard their calls and stated in September that facial recognition would be used to “identify inappropriate and unusual movements” and “failure comply with hijab laws.”

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