Huawei Uyghur-spotting system
Occurred: January 2021
A patent application (pdf) filed by Huawei in conjunction with the Chinese Academy of Sciences sets out a system that identifies people who appear to be Uyghurs amongst images of pedestrians.
Discovered by video research group IPVM, the patent describes AI techniques for identifying pedestrians by attributes including race. The patent was filed in 2018.
Huawei says the Uighur detection capability 'should never have become part of the application' and that it is 'taking proactive steps to amend' it.
IPVM also revealed patents for systems capable of recognising Uyghurs filed by Chinese AI companies Megvii and SenseTime.
Developer: Huawei; Chinese Academy of Sciences
Sector: Govt - police
Purpose: Detect Uyghurs
Technology: Object recognition
Issue: Surveillance; Privacy
Transparency: Governance; Privacy
News, commentary, analysis
Published: January 2021