For adults, playing games when they want, wherever they want isn’t an issue. But in China, to help curb addiction, the country has a law that puts a curfew on gaming for those who are aged 18 and under. There have been several ways that they have enforced this, but it looks like Tencent is now adding facial recognition to the list.
According to industry analyst Daniel Ahmad, whose company Niko Partners sometimes works with Tencent, “It will essentially detect if the person playing the game after midnight is doing so for a long time or spending a certain amount of money in the game, and it will tick a box in Tencent’s backend and prompt the user to verify their identity through facial recognition, either through that database or through a database they’ve already used.”
The company says that they do not store the scans that they use. It sounds like it tries to match the gamer to China’s state facial recognition system. Before this, Tencent has been verifying the age of users through China’s national ID system, but some gamers have been crafty enough to get around the system by using their parents’ accounts. One wonders if they will get around this as well.
It seems like users can opt not to have their faces scanned. So, if a player is detected playing games after curfew, they will be prompted for a facial scan. They can refuse to do it, but then the system will simply assume they’re a minor and boot them off anyway.
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