Israel facial recognition system misidentifies innocent Gazans

Occurred: March 2024

A facial recognition system used by Israel in Gaza misidentified scores of innocent Palestinians, resulting in their abduction, interrogration, and physical beatings.

Unnamed Israeli officials told the New York Times that Israel was using facial recognition technology to identify Hamas operatives and Israeli captives in Gaza. Palestinian prisoners were asked to name people from their communities who they believed were part of Hamas. Israel would then search for those people, hoping they would yield more intelligence, according to the NYT.

Developed by Israeli company Corsight, the system catalogues the faces of unaware Palestinians without their consent and has resulted in the misidentification, abduction and beatings of innocent Palestinians, including the poet Mosab Abu Toha. Corsight CEO Robert Watts recently claimed that the company's technology is 'Built with Privacy, Ethics and world leading Bias reduction at its core'. 

The discovery underscores legal, ethical, and practical concerns about the use of AI for military and extra-judicial purposes. 

Operator: Israel Defense Forces (IDF)
Developer: Corsight
Country: Israel/Palestine
Sector: Govt - defence
Purpose: Identify terrorists
Technology: Facial recognition
Issue: Ethics/values; Human/civil rights; Privacy
Transparency: Governance