Real-World Masked Face dataset

Released: March 2020
Occurred: May 2020

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Real-World Masked Face Dataset is a dataset of photographs of over 5,000 masked faces of 525 people developed by researchers at Wuhan University.

In an accompanying research paper, the researchers say the project is to help identify individuals wearing face masks as a means of controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, some commentators worry that the photos may be used for other purposes by the Chinese authorities, including the monitoring of Uyghurs in Xinjiang province.

The paper says the images are of 'public figures' gathered 'from massive internet resources.' But the researchers have refused to discuss how they chose the people added to the dataset, or whether or not this may impact their privacy.

Operator:
Developer:
Wuhan University

Country: China

Sector: Health; Research/academia

Purpose: Improve facial recognition algorithms

Technology: Dataset; Facial recognition; Computer vision
Issue: Privacy; Ethics; Dual/multi-use; Surveillance

Transparency: Governance; Privacy