torsdag 14. januar 2021

China's Huawei backtracks after filing for patent to identify Uyghur faces

Chinese technology company Huawei is backtracking on a patent application it filed for a facial recognition system intended to identify Uyghurs from other Chinese ethnicities. Filed in July 2018 by Huawei and the government-affiliated Chinese Academy of Sciences, the patent application said the "identification of pedestrian attributes is very important" in facial recognition technology.

"The attributes of the target object can be gender (male, female), age (such as teenagers, middle-aged, old) [or] race (Han, Uyghur)," the application said. It was revealed in a new report from the BBC and IPVM, an independent group which monitors video surveillance technology.

A Huawei spokesperson said in a statement to CNN Business that the company would "amend" its patent, adding that the ethnicity identification feature should "never have become part of the application."
"Huawei opposes discrimination of all types, including the use of technology to carry out ethnic discrimination," the spokesperson said. "We are continuously working to ensure new and evolving technology is developed and applied with the utmost care and integrity."