Huawei Tested Facial Recognition System That Identifies Uighurs, Report Claims
According to Pennsylvania-based research group IPVM, Chinese tech giant Huawei tested a facial recognition system that aims to specifically identify Uighur Muslims, an ethnic minority group that has been surveilled and oppressed by China. According to documents uncovered by IPVM, the system was built using Huawei cloud infrastructure and tools built by Chinese artificial intelligence firm Megvii. In 2018, a Huawei report stated that the software passed and was able to determine individuals’ ethnicity.
Although the document was marked confidential, it was publicly available on Huawei’s website and has since been taken down. This development comes amid allegations made by human rights groups claiming that Chinese authorities used a massive surveillance network to track down Uighur Muslims and detain them, seeking to suppress Islamic culture in the country. Huawei told IPVM that the report was simply detailing a test process and has not seen the real-world application.