The Iranian government plans to use facial recognition on public transport to identify women in violation of new strict hijab law.
The use of facial recognition was announced by the secretary of the Headquarters for Promoting Virtue and Preventing Voce, Mohammad Saleh Hashemi Golpayegani.
The new strict hijab law was signed by Iran’s hardline president Ebrahim Raisi on August 15. It followed the Hijab and Chastity Day, a national holiday held on July 12, which saw women protest all over the country by posting on social media pictures of themselves without the head covering.
Some of the women that have been arrested for violating the new law were identified after videos showing them without the hijab or wearing the hijab the wrong way went viral on social media.
One woman, whose video showed her being harassed on public transportation for not wearing the hijab properly, was arrested, beaten, and forced to apologize on national television to the person who harassed her, The Guardian reported.
There are fears that Iran’s biometric identity cards, which have facial images, might be used in combination with facial recognition in public spaces to identify people who violate the draconian dress code.