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Facial Recognition Technology – Shanmugam IAS Academy
Uighur muslims


What’s in news?

China uses facial recognition technology to track Uighur Muslims

Key data’s:

  • Chinese authorities are using a vast system of facial recognition technology to track its Uighur Muslim minority across the country. The technology reportedly targets this population based on their physical appearance.
  • Uighur’s in the northwest region of Xinjiang, where up to one million members of mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking minority groups are held in internment camps.
  • Beijing has already attracted widespread criticism for its treatment of Uighur’s, according to estimates cited by a UN panel.
  • Facial recognition technology was integrated into China’s huge networks of surveillance cameras has been programmed to look exclusively for Uighur’s based on their appearance and keep records of their movements across China.
  • Police are now reportedly using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to target Uighur’s outside Xinjiang, including in wealthy cities like Hangzhou and Wenzhou. This step aimed to acquire a smart camera system last year that ‘should support facial recognition to identify Uighur/non-Uighur attributes
  • Beijing announced a plan in 2017 to become the world leader in the AI industry. But there have been concerns in the international community that new smart technology is being used for heavy police surveillance in recent years after violent inter-ethnic tensions.

The Uighur’s in china:

The Uighur population is treated with suspicion and oppression by the Communist Party and is heavily surveyed by authorities. Many Uighur have disappeared into internment camps, last year watchdogs estimated that up to a million people could be incarcerated in these specially designed prisons.

Facial recognition Technology:

  • Facial recognition is a way of recognizing a human face through technology. A facial recognition system uses bio-metrics to map facial features from a photograph or video. It compares the information with a database of known faces to find a match. Facial recognition can help verify personal identity, but it also raises privacy issues.
  • The working comprises 4 basic steps. They are;
  1. Capture: A picture of your face is captured from a photo or video. Your face might appear alone or in a crowd. Your image may show you looking straight ahead or nearly in profile.
  2. Extraction: Facial recognition software reads the geometry of your face. Key factors include the distance between your eyes and the distance from forehead to chin. The software identifies facial landmarks — one system identifies 68 of them — that are key to distinguishing your face. The result: your facial signature.
  3. Comparison: Your facial signature — a mathematical formula — is compared to a database of known faces. And consider this: at least 117 million Americans have images of their faces in one or more police databases. According to a May 2018 report, the FBI has had access to 412 million facial images for searches.
  4. Matching: A determination is made. Your face print may match that of an image in a facial recognition system database.
    • Some of the application places are;
    • S. government at airports.
    • Mobile phone makers in products.
    • Colleges in the classroom.
    • Social media companies on websites.
    • Retailers in stores.
    • Airlines at departure gates.
    • Marketers and advertisers in campaigns.
    • And this technology, concerns about privacy and security. Some of the issues are; Security, Prevalence, Ownership, Safety, Mistaken identity, Basic freedoms.

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