Hikvision, a Chinese state-owned surveillance tech company, advertised a dangerous new feature which includes using facial recognition technology to identify sensitive information like gender, race, and ethnicity.
Hikvision and Dahua Technology have been found to be providing the technological infrastructure which facilitates the monitoring of Uyghurs, a minority Muslim community in Xinjiang facing ethnic cleansing. Campaigners at Big Brother Watch alongside other rights groups are calling on Government to remove CCTV cameras supplied by Hikvision from the public sphere. On Wednesday, the Government was defeated in opposing an amendment which demanded that Hikvision be cut-off from the British supply chain.
Amidst facing a ban in the UK, a brochure on Hikvision’s website (now removed) signalled a potential partnership with FaiceTech, a British start-up. The start-up has denied any association with the surveillance company.
Madeleine Stone, Legal and Policy Officer at Big Brother Watch says, “It is deeply alarming that the same racist technology being used in Xinjiang to repress the Uyghur population is being marketed in Britain. Hikvision is normalising deeply intrusive surveillance capacities which have no place in a democracy. Hikvision’s surveillance products pose a real threat to rights and security. The government must act now to ban this rights-abusing technology.”