Business, Economics and Jobs

Chinese official urges supreme database to track citizens


Thousands of passengers enter a railway station as they return to work after the Lunar New Year holidays, in Wuhan, central China's Hubei province.



If a leading communist party official has his way, all Chinese citizens will be tracked under a database recording everything from their education level to their allotted number of kids.

Zhou Yongkang, China's 9th most senior party member, wants 1.3 billion citizens registered under a "blanket ID card" system, according to the state-run magazine Global Times.

The database would record personal details such as "family planning status, housing status, education, taxation, commercial and other financial information."

Of course, Chinese citizens already use a national ID card that's necessary for all government interactions -- and even commenting on certain Web boards.

The system, however, has grown outdated and strained, especially as more Chinese relocate from the countryside to urban boom towns. Tracking all that movement has proven difficult for authorities, who forbid citizens from selected impoverished areas from leaving their provinces.