The all-seeing eye of the government has now hit the bathroom. one of the busiest bathrooms in Beijing will now only give toilet paper to those who use a face-scanner. The move has been made to combat widespread toilet paper theft by the elderly, according to The Guardian.
Here’s how it works: If you want toilet paper, you need to stand in front of a high definition camera for three seconds after removing any hats or glasses. Only then will you receive your toilet paper ration of 60 centimeters (nearly two feet). If you show up too often, you’ll be denied. And you better make sure your business is done the first time, because you need to wait nine minutes to receive another TP ration.
Of course, putting cameras into the place we answer nature’s call has raised privacy concerns. And logging bathroom use frequency is just plain weird. “I thought the toilet was the last place I had a right to privacy, but they are watching me in there, too,” a user wrote on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.
Another issue has been the reliability of the machines. Multiple software malfunctions have been reported, forcing users to wait several minutes for their bathroom supplies. In other cases, the machines stopped working entirely, and bathroom staff had to hand out toilet paper by hand. And when the technology was first implemented, staff also had to be on hand to explain how the machines work.
That’s a lot of eyes in one bathroom. So here’s hoping this trend stays in Beijing.
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