Another conflict over wearing face masks has been reported in Tainan. A customer had been sued after he threathened to "settle things outside" with a store employee who advised him to put on a mask. Prosecutors ended up not pressing any charges against the defandant.
Employees at a convenience store tried advising a customer to put on his mask, but the customer would not listen, spitting out mean and rude words at the employees. He even challenged one employee to"bring it outside." The employee felt indignant over such treatment and sued the customer for violating personal freedom and for defamation. Prosecutors in the end decided not to prosecute the customer over violation of freedom and applied to the court to handle defamation as a simple case. The employee was unhappy with such prosecution results.
Mr. Yang, Plaintiff: “Prosecutors stated that I did not have any evidence. I had given them surveillance camera footage, but that wasn't enough for prosecution. Does that mean anyone could just exploit legal loopholes in the future to do whatever they please?”
Citizen: “It seems like store employees should just post a note up on the wall instead of trying to advise in person so that conflicts like this would not happen again.”
Lin Chung-pin, Deputy Chief Prosecutor, Tainan District Prosecutors Office: “The prosecutor thinks the defendant only told the plaintiff to have a talk outside. It does not truly constitute intimidation.”
Police nationwide will be strengthening night patrolling to prevent crime in response to the recent string of street violence. President Tsai Ing-wen recently issued an order for the government to make use of technology to elevate protective mechanisms for safety. The Tainan City Government, in cooperation with the technology industries, is launching a face mask detection system using artificial intelligence to detect people without masks on. The system will generate a public broadcast alert for people not wearing face masks and it will also report to the police.
Huang Wei-che, Tainan City Mayor: “Instead of approaching someone personally like before, this system can be used to prevent verbal disputes and physical fights. We need to be concerned for people's safety.”
Technology companies will also be sponsoring cloud services for the face mask detection system. There are 30 slots open for 30 shops in Tainan to apply for the use of the mask detection system within 3 months. Face mask regulations would not likely be lifted in the near future in Taiwan, and hopefully, the launch of the AI face mask detection system would improve safety in the neighborhood.