Beijing Uyghur emotion detection

May 2021
Updated: October 2022

According to a whistleblower, the Chinese government is testing a camera system that detects the emotions of the Uyghur people in the Xinjiang region of China.

The allegations were made to the BBC on condition of anonymity by a software engineer who says he installed the system.

'The Chinese government use Uyghurs as test subjects for various experiments just like rats are used in laboratories', the software engineer said. He went on to allege the system is used for 'pre-judgment without any credible evidence.'

Most people, he says, are categorised as 'anxious' or 'scared'.

Home to 12 million ethnic minority Uyghurs, Xinjiang residents are under more or less constant surveillance.

Human Rights Watch has recently published a report detailing a policy of torture, disappearances, and cultural erasure in the province.

Operator: Government of China
Developer: Zhejiang Dahua Technology; Hikvision
Country: China
Sector: Govt - police
Purpose: Strengthen security
Technology: Emotion detection
Issue: Privacy; Surveillance; Accuracy/reliability
Transparency: Governance