China Using Facial Recognition In Public Restrooms To Prevent Toilet Paper Thefts

Image courtesy of GorillaSushi

As part of China’s efforts to spur tourism with a “toilet revolution,” bathrooms at tourist sites will now use facial recognition to keep them from grabbing too much toilet paper. Yes, this means your face could be scanned in the john.

To keep people from denuding public bathrooms of toilet paper, tourist officials installed new technology in bathrooms at the Temple of Heaven that spits out only one two-foot piece of paper every nine minutes after a face scan, reports The Associated Press.

If that’s not enough, ostensibly, you could hang out for a bit and then get some more paper if you need it to uh, complete the job, but stealing large quantities will take a lot longer than it used to.

“People take away the paper mostly because they are worried they can’t find any when they want to use it the next time. But if we can provide it in every toilet, most people will not do it anymore,” Zhan Dongmei, a researcher with the China Tourism Academy, told the AP.

The idea behind these toilet improvements is to encourage tourism, and thus, boost the national economy. The more clean, odor-free, convenient public bathrooms are around, the more likely people will be to visit.

Zhan says its toilet revolution — part of a $290 billion investment in tourism — is around 90% complete, but there’s work yet to do.

“We can’t accept the situation that a lot of investments have been made to build toilets and they turn out to be unsanitary and poorly managed,” he said.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.