(ECNS) -- Shuidi, a livestreaming platform affiliated with Qihoo 360 Technology Co, announced on Wednesday that it will cease operation starting today, but that its smart cameras will continue to offer security monitoring services.
The decision came after a widely circulated accusation that the platform had livestreamed content from public places, such as restaurants and shopping malls, without the knowledge of people captured in the videos.
The Shuidi app was available on mobile devices and desktops, and has exposed loopholes exploited by ill-intentioned users.
The company responded earlier that owners of the cameras are responsible for making the live broadcasts available. The live broadcast function on the smart cameras is default disabled, it said.
Shuidi had already aroused online outcry last April for monitoring students in classrooms.
On Wednesday, the product manager at Qihoo 360 responded in a written statement that livestreaming and security monitoring on smart cameras are quite different, because livestreaming users can release videos only after a complicated process.
The manager also said Qihoo 360 had planned to use AI facial recognition technology to identify people in public videos and allow for blurring, but it dropped this attempt because of technical difficulties. To respect people's privacy, it will get rid off all livestreaming functions on 360 smart cameras and shut down the Shuidi livestreaming platform, said the manager.
But it will continue to offer free smart cameras to kindergartens to help parents get real-time knowledge of their children.