Pegatron using facial recognition to catch underage workers

pegatron-office1:15 PM – Apple has had quite a few troubles in recent years when it comes to its suppliers.  From overworking workers to unpleasant work conditions, you name the problem.  Though Apple’s strict control over its supply chain has helped the company improve on several problems.  The latest problem Apple and one of its supplier had to face is underage workers.

Just recently, a 15-year old underage worker died at Pegatron’s iPhone 5c production plant.  A total of 5 worker had died recently at the plant, one of the was the 15-year old individual.  After Apple’s investigation, it was found that the boy died of pneumonia, not because of any work-related conditions.

Now, to counter underage workers problem, Pegatron has a solution.  According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, the company is implementing facial recognition technology that would be able to detect if a person is underage.  The new tech would match the face with official government issued IDs.  This would definitely help the company scrape out those IDs that are fake or forged.  It is believed that the 15-year old individual was able to get a job with Pegatron through a fake ID with false information.

The Wall Street Journal states:

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 legal age for working in China is 16.  But due to needs in families, some children start working as early as 14.  Labor law enforcement has been a problem in China for a while, and Apple is doing the best it can to enforce the policies.  There are problems that continue to carry on despite efforts on Apple’s part, such as illegally allowing 8o-hours work week.

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Hamza Khalid

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