Alibaba’s Software to identify Uighur People

The Chinese tech company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has launched the facial recognition software that can identify the face of a Uighur person.

Key Highlights

  • The US-based surveillance industry research firm IPVM have found the detection technology in Alibaba’s Cloud Shield services.
  • The technology can be used to identify the videos filmed and uploaded by a Uighur person.
  • It helps the authorities to flag it to respond to or take down.
  • The research firm found that, Alibaba’s Chinese website showed clients that how they could use the tech feature to identify the ethnic minorities.
  • The technology included a step-by-step guide. It is meant specifically to search for Uighurs.

How this technology identifies the minorities?

The users of this technology in China can send images of people from phones or surveillance video to the service. If the software, Alibaba, suspects the person as Uighur, it will flag them.

Uighur in China

China has intensified its efforts in the recent years to control and oppress the Uighur and other Turkic Muslims in the Xinjiang region of China. China involves various programmes such as enforced sterilisation of women, mass internment in camps, enforced labour programmes, extensive technological and human surveillance and ideological “re-education” labelled cultural genocide. However, China rejects all accusations and states that these camps are vocational training centres which are necessary to combat the religious extremism.

International criminal court’s reaction

The international court has asked for evidence on Uighur persecution. The court said, it could not investigate the claims of crimes against humanity and genocide in China. This is so, because China is not a signatory to the court and the case was outside its jurisdiction.

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