Apple Supplier Pegatron Uses Facial Recognition to Screen for Underage Workers

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Apr 12, 2001
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Pegatron, the factory that produces Apple's iPhone 5c, has implemented facial recognition technology to pre-screen potential employees ahead of hiring in order to prevent the company from hiring underage workers, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Underage workers pose a serious threat to Apple suppliers as Apple has a strict policy against the hiring of workers under 16, China's legal working age. Earlier this year, Apple dropped Pingzhou Electronics as a supplier after multiple violations for hiring underage employees.

To screen for underage workers, Pegatron, which implemented the technology earlier this year, reportedly checks government-issued IDs for authenticity, with the faces matched to their ID photos using facial recognition. This is designed to prevent employees from using fake IDs or IDs borrowed from other people.

Last week, a 15-year-old Pegatron factory worker, Shi Zhaokun, died of pneumonia, bringing underage labor violations into the spotlight once again. The employee reportedly used a fake ID to acquire the job, and according to Pegatron, though he too went through the same security checks, he used a fake ID with his actual photo to bypass the facial recognition system.
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.
Apple, which voluntarily joined the Fair Labor Association (FLA) back in 2012, sent a team of doctors to investigate the incident. The company maintains a Supplier Responsibility section on its website and publishes yearly reports on worker welfare at its suppliers.

Apple has pledged to prevent excessive work hours, poor working conditions, unethical hiring policies, and the hiring of underage workers at the factories that supply Apple with parts. Despite Apple's efforts, Pegatron continually finds itself in the spotlight, last making headlines in July when a Chinese Labor Group accused Pegatron of numerous safety and workplace violations.

The FLA recently completed a status report on the working conditions at Foxconn, finding improvements in both working conditions and working hours, though the factory still violates the 49-hour work week mandated by Chinese law.

Article Link: Apple Supplier Pegatron Uses Facial Recognition to Screen for Underage Workers
 

bryanck

macrumors member
Jan 18, 2008
35
10
U.S. companies needs to move manufacturing out of China and other countries that have no regard for basic human rights. If we stop letting China fix their currency exchange rate, then labor there would become much more expensive and it would no longer make economic sense to do business there.
 
Comment

JAT

macrumors 603
Dec 31, 2001
6,473
124
Mpls, MN
I still don't see how the parents in this case can be sending the kid to work ungodly hours, while very sick, and then starting passing blame.

-- A Parent
 
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lilgto64

macrumors member
Apr 13, 2009
36
0
Ohio
Are there any women here today?



Wow those factory jobs must just be so terrible that someone would use a fake ID to get a job there despite being underage. And let's blame Apple for allowing the occasional lapse in judgment or security etc that goes on in a foreign country in a separate company or in a young person's mind.

Regarding parents - maybe the kid is an orphan and was living in a van down by the river and figured this was his only way to make a better life for himself - and while we are at it lets blame Apple for poverty, illness, and human right's violations everywhere we can find them.

I doubt very much that anyone can design any system or process which will be 100% effective at deterring all future such cases. Which is not to say that it is okay to have an institutionalized policy whereby such violations are ignored or encouraged.
 
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devilbond

macrumors member
Mar 8, 2010
89
0
Pretty sure just being young didn't kill the kid. The other real problem is how a human being, regardless of age, can be enabled to die at work without any other staff noticing that they are sick.
We all, not just China, need to foster any development we can that will lead to a more empathetic, caring culture.

*holds hands with people on either side and sways*
 
Comment

Menel

macrumors 603
Aug 4, 2011
6,203
1,136
U.S. companies needs to move manufacturing out of China and other countries that have no regard for basic human rights. If we stop letting China fix their currency exchange rate, then labor there would become much more expensive and it would no longer make economic sense to do business there.
Yes, send the Chinese laborers back to the over populated rice patties to starve in poverty.

Very humanitarian of you.
 
Comment

Antares

macrumors 68000
Image

Wow those factory jobs must just be so terrible that someone would use a fake ID to get a job there despite being underage. And let's blame Apple for allowing the occasional lapse in judgment or security etc that goes on in a foreign country in a separate company or in a young person's mind.

Regarding parents - maybe the kid is an orphan and was living in a van down by the river and figured this was his only way to make a better life for himself - and while we are at it lets blame Apple for poverty, illness, and human right's violations everywhere we can find them.

I doubt very much that anyone can design any system or process which will be 100% effective at deterring all future such cases. Which is not to say that it is okay to have an institutionalized policy whereby such violations are ignored or encouraged.
Truth. Nobody can logically deny what you posted.
 
Comment

JAT

macrumors 603
Dec 31, 2001
6,473
124
Mpls, MN
Regarding parents - maybe the kid is an orphan and was living in a van down by the river and figured this was his only way to make a better life for himself - and while we are at it lets blame Apple for poverty, illness, and human right's violations everywhere we can find them.
Maybe you should read the orig story.
 
Comment

OLDCODGER

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2011
923
376
Lucky Country
Pretty sure just being young didn't kill the kid. The other real problem is how a human being, regardless of age, can be enabled to die at work without any other staff noticing that they are sick.
We all, not just China, need to foster any development we can that will lead to a more empathetic, caring culture.

*holds hands with people on either side and sways*
In China?!!
 
Comment

godslabrat

macrumors 6502
Aug 19, 2007
346
110
Regarding parents - maybe the kid is an orphan and was living in a van down by the river and figured this was his only way to make a better life for himself - and while we are at it lets blame Apple for poverty, illness, and human right's violations everywhere we can find them.
This.

Just to be clear: When we find out about child workers at some factory in ______, we aren't talking about some nine-year-old who was pulled out of Calculus class in a private school one day so that he could make iPhones. We're talking about a child who has a job to support themselves, possibly a family, and whose only other alternative would likely be as a child prostitute. If you remove this child's ability to earn a real income (under whatever conditions), do you honestly think whatever happens next is going to improve their lives?

I don't defend labor abuse, and I would like to see manufacturing returned to the USA regardless. However, the idea that simply taking underage workers away from these jobs will be a human rights win is very shortsighted. What can be done about the situation as a whole? Can we change the social conditions that make child labor advantageous for anyone?
 
Comment

macs4nw

macrumors 601
U.S. companies needs to move manufacturing out of China and other countries that have no regard for basic human rights…..
Easier said than done. Have you turned over products lately, to see where they're made. An overwhelming amount of goods from toothpaste and baby formula, to kitchen utensils and car tires, and everything in between is manufactured in China nowadays. Due to our inability to compete on a price (not quality) level, the manufacturing sector in the affluent world has virtually collapsed. Even if we were willing to pay higher prices for everything, it would take years for our manufacturing sector to catch up.

Apple, by necessity (granted), is doing an admirable job addressing the off-shore labor conditions problem, but these are, as noted by others, social problems that need to be addressed by the Chinese government, and change in that area, to the chagrin of well-intentioned critics in the western world, will not come overnight.

Continuing to put gentle, but firm pressure on offending manufacturing partners is imho, the best and in the long run probably the most effective policy to improve the lives of workers in the developing world.
 
Comment

minimo3

macrumors 6502
Oct 18, 2010
419
234
U.S. companies needs to move manufacturing out of China and other countries that have no regard for basic human rights. If we stop letting China fix their currency exchange rate, then labor there would become much more expensive and it would no longer make economic sense to do business there.
Your wish will be granted in the not too distant future. FoxConn is putting pedal to the metal in its robotization drive (they just opened a plant in PA to produce robots). I expect that within a decade or two we will require just a small fraction of the workers today in manufacturing jobs worldwide. Wouldn't be surprised to see global unemployment exceed 20%
 
Comment

tmroper

macrumors regular
Dec 4, 2008
121
0
Palo Alto
China has a dual class society, with rural migrants getting just about zero social services when they move to the city looking for jobs. That means no free anything, and earning money is therefore often a life or death matter.

That doesn't make child labor automatically okay, but neither is kicking them out onto the street. Maybe big companies could offer some jobs that are less harmful for younger workers. You know, like delivering newspapers in the hot sun or cold rain, which used to be considered a great way for American kids to learn the value of work.
 
Comment

ziongpham

macrumors newbie
Dec 17, 2013
1
0
Underage workers

Most people forget that in other countries than US, EU people are poor and the best way to have a more decent life is to have a job, that's why 16, 17 years old boys, girls use fake ID to support their family.

It's not like we are talking about the physical abuse, discrimination of children (though overall there might be general abuse). They (companies) don't force children into work, they don't force children into anything.
 
Comment

MacLC

macrumors 6502
Oct 18, 2013
307
129
lilgto64 said:
Wow those factory jobs must just be so terrible that someone would use a fake ID to get a job there despite being underage. And let's blame Apple for allowing the occasional lapse in judgment or security etc that goes on in a foreign country in a separate company or in a young person's mind.

Regarding parents - maybe the kid is an orphan and was living in a van down by the river and figured this was his only way to make a better life for himself - and while we are at it lets blame Apple for poverty, illness, and human right's violations everywhere we can find them.

I doubt very much that anyone can design any system or process which will be 100% effective at deterring all future such cases. Which is not to say that it is okay to have an institutionalized policy whereby such violations are ignored or encouraged.
Truth. Nobody can logically deny what you posted.
Part 3: Agree totally

Part 2: true you can't blame Apple by the book, but come on, they made agreements with people they knew carried on the practice they are vocally against. It's equally hard to blame a wolf when a shepherd gives it a sheep.

Part 1: The west was shaped by philosophies and faiths that ultimately believe in the notion of free will. In China Confucian thinking permeates life to this day. Accordingly many children "volunteer" but really their parents or grandparents are the ones volunteering them. Even if these children will to quit they may not.

Personally I had my first at 12 and was grateful for it. Thus I disagree with a steadfast age of 16 but as we know with gymnastics and diving, the law is lip service to appease public outcry while the creators of the law themselves ignore the very law they create. Abuse in China is rampant, but any solution proposed has to take into account of the fact that in China, very few people actually have free will like they do in the west.
 
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