The company revealed details of the system following the death of a 15-year-old underage worker who fell ill with pneumonia. Apple and Pegatron have determined the dead was not due to working conditions at the factory.
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 working age in China is 16. Apple suppliers have long been accused of hiring underage workers; however, scrutiny from labor groups has resulted in a push to curb the practice.