Facial scanning introduced to stop people stealing toilet paper at Chinese tourist attraction
China is attempting to prevent the theft of toilet paper in one of its busiest public lavatories by installing facial-recognition cameras.
People using the lavatory in Tiantan Park in Beijing - one of the city's main tourist sites - will only receive a 60cm serving of paper after they have conducted a facial scan. After meting out the toilet roll, the software will deny the same person paper within nine minutes of their first scan, reports said.
Authorities acted after a growing number of visitors to public toilets in China have raided the dispensers and taken the paper back home.
"Some people still lack paper-use manners," said a report by China Radio International.
It cited a toilet attendant saying: "Some people take much more paper than needed and sometimes even take a whole roll away with them."
Toilet paper use at one of the park's public lavatories has dropped from 20 to four rolls in three days, reports said. However, some users have complained that the dispensers don't work, and concerns have been raised that the waiting time of 30 seconds might cause problems for those in urgent need of relief.
The subject has been widely discussed on Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter. "I am a bit uncomfortable about being watched in such places," said one comment.
"If we encounter guests who have diarrhoea or any other situation in which they urgently require toilet paper, then our staff on the ground will directly provide the toilet paper," a park spokesman told Beijing Wanbao.
- The Telegraph