From this release of Made in China, you'll learn about the massive data leak from the smart city database; Xiaomi's smartphone flight into space and the construction of sponge cities to fight floods.
The database of the smart city was in public access
Smart cities are designed to make people's lives easier and safer, eliminating traffic jams, crime, public transport delays, problems with the work of public services, etc. To do this, neural networks process huge amounts of data obtained from various sensors and cameras. All information must be stored somewhere, and therefore there is a chance of its leakage. That's what happened in China. Researcher in the field of security John Wethington found that the database of Beijing was freely available via a web browser.
The discovered database stored gigabytes of information, including scans of the faces of hundreds of people who had been monitored for several months. The information was on Alibaba's servers. They contained links to the cloud platform with support for artificial intelligence, developed by the technology giant, but representatives of the company deny their involvement in the scandal.
"This database project was created and hosted by the customer on the Alibaba Cloud platform. We always encourage our customers to protect their data with a secure password. We have already informed everyone about this incident so that they can solve the problem immediately. As a provider of public cloud storage, we do not have access to the content of our users," said the representative of Alibaba.
Location of cameras on the streets of Beijing
Leak allowed understanding 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 Liangmaqiao 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-scanning 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 persons in real-time are checked with the police base
The system is able to use the collected data to detect people suspected of committing crimes or who are of increased interest to the state. From this, it follows that it could be developed by order of the authorities. Every time a camera captures 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, Xiaomi sent it to conquer space. For this purpose, a modified version of the weather balloon filled with gas was used. During the experiment, it was possible to reach the upper stratosphere at an altitude of 35 375 meters from the earth's surface, where the temperature was -58 °C, and atmospheric pressure — 1 kPa.
Five smartphones were launched into space at once: one was continuously taking pictures of the Earth with its 48-megapixel camera, the second was shooting video, and three more devices were in a special bag. Also on the design were installed customized GoPro camera, protected from low temperature. At maximum height, the ball of gas burst, and the structure began to fall. As a result, it landed 200 meters from the expected place, but all smartphones survived and worked without any problems. The Xiaomi team managed to get some unique photos of our planet.
Photo of Earth with Redmi Note 7
In total, the 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
Floods are one of the main climatic problems for China in terms of the total damage caused. Therefore, the country joined the international initiative "The Sponge City Initiative", which aims to control the movement of large-scale precipitation. Within the project, 30 major cities of China will move to the so-called sponge architecture.
The idea is to create special systems inside cities that can collect, filter and store water in the rain. For each area, unique technology is developed taking into account the specifics of the region. For example, in LINGANG for 119 million dollars made roads with a permeable surface and a water Park green zone. They are able to accumulate water and use it for the needs of the city, including for watering plants, thus avoiding drought. It also allows you to maintain a comfortable level of humidity.
On the initiative of "the Sponge City Initiative," Chinese authorities have allocated $ 12 billion, 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 China will be able to process up to 70% of all precipitation.