Following the death of a 15 year-old factory worker, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Pegatron is using facial recognition technology to screen applicants for its iPhone plant. Pegatron manufactures the iPhone 5c and other products for Apple.

The company is using the tech to match real faces with those on government-issued IDs. This form of authentication helps to weed out those with borrowed or forged IDs, which is believed to be how the 15 year-old was able to get past initial screening…

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Pegatron said applicants for its assembly line have their government-issued IDs checked for authenticity. Their faces are then matched to their ID photos through facial recognition technology, to weed out those using borrowed ID cards. Their names are also checked against police records.

In theory, these measures should keep out underage workers, as they should catch people using fake or borrowed IDs. In Mr. Shi’s case, he was able to obtain a government-issued ID card that included his photo but another person’s identifying information, the company said.”

The employment of underage workers is one of the biggest problems in China in terms of labor laws. The legal working age in the country is 16, but due to economic circumstances, many teenagers start trying to find full-time work at the ages of 14 and 15.

Intense overtime is also another issue facing Chinese manufacturing plants, including many of Apple’s suppliers. And although the company has taken steps to better monitor its supply chain employees, many are still working more than 80 hours per week.

A report by the Fair Labor Association last week said that Apple’s main supply chain partner, Foxconn, was still exceeding the legal overtime hours. But auditors haven’t found any evidence of underage employees since January.

  • chumawumba

    Why not touch ID?

    • WolfgangHoltz

      To easy to fake. If someone can earn money on a worker in China they do it, regardless if the job is dangerous to your health or you’re a minor.
      It’s just a matter of how much money you can earn on the deal.

  • WolfgangHoltz

    I bet they bought the recognition software Cannon had in a camera some years ago. That version did not recognizing Asian faces so problem solved.

  • WolfgangHoltz

    I’m sorry was tired and English is not my native language.
    And it was not a Cannon it was a Nikon Coolpix S630.

    From the article back in 2010

    When Joz Wang and her brother bought their mom a Nikon Coolpix S630
    digital camera for Mother’s Day last year, they discovered what seemed
    to be a malfunction. Every time they took a portrait of each other
    smiling, a message flashed across the screen asking, “Did someone
    blink?” No one had. “I thought the camera was broken!” Wang, 33,
    recalls. But when her brother posed with his eyes open so wide that he
    looked “bug-eyed,” the messages stopped.

    Wang, a Taiwanese-American strategy consultant who goes by the Web
    handle “jozjozjoz,” thought it was funny that the camera had
    difficulties figuring out when her family had their eyes open. So she
    posted a photo of the blink warning on her blog under the title, “Racist
    Camera! No, I did not blink… I’m just Asian!” The post was picked up
    by Gizmodo and Boing Boing, and prompted at least one commenter to note,
    “You would think that Nikon, being a Japanese company, would have
    designed this with Asian eyes in mind.

    • Rigs101

      I didn’t get offended at all your comment was hilarious to me but I’ve seen other people flip over dumb things