Chinese Livestream Platform Shut Down

By Mei Manuel, December 23, 2017 05:12 AM


On Wednesday, Chinese cybersecurity group Qihoo 360 shut down one of China's livestreaming platforms as it allows people to stream online footage from surveillance cameras installed in key areas like classrooms, restaurants and other public areas.

The announcement was made in the firm's official microblog account and follows a series of outcries from the public regarding the platform as it infringes people's privacy and launched a debate about how much surveilance should be done.

According to the announcement, Shuidi or Water Drop would be shut down due to an "internal corporate business adjustment." The platform also enabled people who purchased Qihoo surveillance cameras to upload their videos online.

China has been working on making one of the world's most sophisticated surveillance technology network worldwide and currently, there are millions of cameras installed in public places throughout the country. Some of these places even have systems that has facial recognition.

Netizens have been very vocal about Water Drop's system and why it should be investigated. One blogger, Chen Feifei, even visited a dance studio where many parents said they did not know their children were being streamed through the platform.

When asked about the issue, Qihoo said that it was up to the owners of their cameras to inform people that they could be streamed online. It also said that even if they shut down the platform, the smart cameras "Will focus on providing reliable security surveillance and provide services to customers."

One of the platform's managers also wrote in Weibo, "We will unswervingly continue to offer smart cameras to nursery schools all over China, and help parents watch their children real time."

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