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Concerns expressed about surveillance at Vancouver restaurant


Vancouver, BC, Canada

The National Post recently published a story on a popular restaurant in Vancouver, Canada that allegedly has dozens of cameras monitoring activity inside its facility.

With the popular-chain headquartered in Communist China, some are concerned that this may end up as part of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Social Credit system.

The restaurant’s management denies the accusation and states that it’s intended solely for the safety and security of its customers.

The National Post explains:

The photos posted online show rows of surveillance cameras, their apparent focus the dining area of Canadian restaurants owned by a popular China-based chain.

The company, Haidilao International Holding, says its video equipment is there to ensure everyone’s safety and security — not, as a recent report suggested, to track staff and customers on behalf of authorities in Beijing.

But the cameras, installed by a business whose home government employs surveillance pervasively, are sparking concern among Canadian critics of the People’s Republic, and interest from the federal privacy commissioner.

Haidilao may intend to use the equipment just for security purposes, said Ivy Li of Canadian Friends of Hong Kong. But Chinese law requires its companies to co-operate with security services if requested — and makes all firms subject to the controversial “social-credit” monitoring system, she noted.

READ: China-based chain says rows of surveillance cameras in Canadian restaurants for security, not spying

The Chinese Communist Party uses an extensive Social Credit system in its country to not only track the online behaviour of its citizens, but also uses millions of camera’s (estimated between 200 million to 600 million) to track their activities.

Using this extensive network, the Communist regime deducts points for any behaviour it considers to be un-communist. If a person’s points fall too low, the individual is prevented from travelling and buying services.

READ: Chinese subway passengers with good ‘social credit scores’ will be let on first ahead of those deemed ‘bad’ for offences such as eating on a train

RELATED: China bans 23m from buying travel tickets as part of ‘social credit’ system: The Guardian

The National Post also noted that a security report in Canada published in 2018 expressed concerns that the CCP may try to monitor activity of people and businesses in other countries as part of its Social Credit system.

From the Government of Canada’s website:

Big data is allowing the Party to extend its already extensive control over the lives of Chinese citizens. The developing social credit system will make possible comprehensive data collection to measure individual loyalty to the state. Data can be collected on companies and individuals abroad, posing a challenge for countries not wishing to be part of a Chinese system of social control. China’s big data strategy may improve political control without improving the actual quality of governance.

READ: Big data and the social credit system: The security consequences

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