Tech | August 18, 2017 5:00 am

Live Surveillance Feeds in China Are Watched Like TV Dramas

CCTV has an audience among the 751 million Chinese internet users.

(Mario Tama/Getty Images)
(Mario Tama/Getty Images)

CCTV is proving to be the new reality TV in China.

Surveillance cameras in China are nearly ubiquitous and most of them have live feeds, publicly accessible online 24 hours a day. While that would be cause for litigation in the United States, it’s legal and widely accepted in China, the Wall Street Journal reports.

There’s enough footage available for Chinese artist Xu Bing to make Dragonfly Eyes, a full-length fictional film made entirely of video from surveillance cameras recording ordinary citizens’ daily lives.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the film was created from 7,000 hours of video. Most of the footage for the film was downloaded from Chinese sites like Shuidi or Water Drop, which host live feeds from thousands of CCTV cameras across the country.

Relaxed attitudes toward privacy in China has allowed the government to keep testing the limits of how much surveillance it’s citizens can tolerate. Government officials are planning to implement a “social credit” score based on citizens behavior caught on surveillance enabled with facial recognition, the Wall Street Journal reports.