The billionaire from China and the co-founder of Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), Jack Ma, has asked Chinese security agencies to use data for preventing crime.

Jack was speaking to agencies that police crimes in the country on Saturday. He said, the country has good data capabilities, and should use it to analyze citizen information and discover potential threats. This is in line with what the rulers in Beijing feel. They often collect information on citizens in the name of national security.

Ma said that there is a lot of data out there. It’s beyond what humans can handle, and we should use artificial intelligence. “The future legal and security system cannot be separated from the internet and big data”, he added.

Chine Beefing Up Surveillance System

China with more than a billion people is trying to beef up its online surveillance systems. The country is now establishing an even more elaborate system of collecting and analyzing information on its own citizens. Personal privacy has never been a serious issue here.

In fact, not just the state, but leading technology companies, which also include Alibaba, might even play a role here, much like the “Minority Report” movie of Steven Spielberg where the state wants to prevent crimes even before they happen. Ma himself referred to this Hollywood movie saying, “Bad guys in a movie are identifiable at first glance, but how can the ones in real life be found? In the age of big data, we need to remember that our legal and security system with millions of members will also face change”.

High Technology for Crime Prevention

China is using more high technology to detect threats. The China Electronics Technology Group, which is a big defense contractor in the country, has been asked to create software to collect consumer behaviors for predicting terror acts. Last July, the Communist Party also created a cyber-security law that gives them complete access to all user data. Thanks to a new anti-terror law, they can now access even bank accounts.

A network of surveillance cameras called Skynet has been set up across the country. Hangzhou, the hometown of Jack Ma, now has more cameras than New York City.

There are critics, though. Jason Ng, a researcher in New York working with Citizen Lab, feels that Ma sees an opportunity for Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) to do a lot of the data mining opportunities in the country. “This is just business for him”.