Scoop for @ipvideo: a facial recognition professor in Australia breached core ethics standards in a paper that improved Uyghur "ethnicity recognition" techniques, abruptly resigning

He now teaches AI at a top PRC university…
The study took pics of 300 Uyghur, Tibetan, and Korean PRC students to find the best 'face region' for 'ethnicity recognition'

The paper was published in 2018 as PRC police and surveillance companies ramped up 'Uyghur alarm' security camera systems across the country
The study sparked a @CurtinUni investigation into co-author and Curtin associate prof Wanquan Liu after it inadvertently went viral thanks to this @farbandish tweet
@CurtinUni found the study "did not gain informed consent" or "required ethical approvals"

During the investigation, Liu "refused to respond" to certain questions - then abruptly resigned and now teaches at Sun Yat Sen University
Stunningly, the paper's publisher, Wiley, initially defended the paper saying face rec research "is enriched by expanding beyond white, Caucasian subjects" (the paper is explicitly about detecting repressed PRC ethnic groups, not reducing face rec bias)…
@CurtinUni is now calling for the paper to be retracted and its name removed from all references. The paper has yet to be retracted; Wiley says it is "reviewing" this again
@IEEEorg has already retracted a separate paper based on the PRC minority faces dataset
@KU_Leuven professor Yves Moreau has been pushing for this paper to be retracted for years - he told @ipvideo facial recognition researchers have been ignoring basic ethics for far too long and are "playing with fire in an arsenal"
@_jack_poulson has also been on this case, emailing Wiley asking for answers and making replies public via @tech_inquiry

It took a while but the @CurtinUni findings and the @IEEEorg retraction are damning.

The ball is now firmly in @WileyGlobal's court.
this news comes as two DNA papers have been retracted for using Uyghurs' blood samples (collected by police!) with no evidence of consent, as reported by @nytimes' @suilee @paulmozur
Update: @SenPaterson tells @ABCnews it's "alarming to think an Australian university was involved with research that can so clearly be used for profoundly unethical purposes"…

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More from @CharlesRollet1

10 Aug
NEW: Hikvision is refusing to respond to pointed questions from the UK's Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner (@BSCCommissioner) such as "whether your camera technology has in fact been used in the Uyghur internment camps"… via @ipvideo
@BSCCommissioner also asked Hik - a major UK #videosurveillance provider - "whether you accept that basic premise, namely that crimes are being committed against the Uyghurs" & whether Hik had "knowledge of the use(s) of its surveillance camera systems in the internment" camps?
yet Hikvision has so far refused to answer, offering a meeting instead, which the Commissioner declined until Hikvision provides a written and public "substantive response"
Read 10 tweets
30 Jun
new for @ipvideo: a law firm hired by Hikvision concluded it did not "knowingly or intentionally" abuse human rights in Xinjiang.

But evidence shows Hikvision knows exactly what it's doing, as it directly built & operates 5 huge Xinjiang police projects…
in a carefully-worded statement, Arent Fox said:

"we do not find that Hikvision entered into the five projects in Xinjiang with the intent to knowingly engage in human rights abuses or find that Hikvision knowingly or intentionally committed human rights abuses itself"
Read 8 tweets
9 Apr
As part of doing business in China, Airbnb allows hosts to ban Uyghur guests. Not banning specific people - literally, *any Uyghur person*…

this is the same company recently touting its "allyship" of the AAPI community
imagine Airbnb banning black guests in 1950s Alabama or 1980s South Africa. they are doing the same thing now in China with little to no controversy.
here was airbnb's response to the Uyghur ban revelation: Airbnb is "required to comply with local laws and regulations" which effectively ban Uyghurs from booking hotel rooms in China
Read 8 tweets
9 Feb
breaking from @ipvideo & @latimes: the world's second-largest security camera manufacturer (@DahuaHQ) provides Chinese police "real-time Uyghur warnings" & tracks "Uyghurs with hidden terrorist inclinations"

Dahua has a USA HQ in Irvine & reportedly sold Amazon $10m of cameras
for Dahua's flagship 'Smart Police' solution, Heart of City, "real-time Uyghur warnings" are included and security cameras are required to "support reporting Uyghur [face] attributes" to police
in another Dahua support document, Dahua lists numerous categories of people it tracks for PRC police, including "Uyghurs with hidden terrorist inclinations"

Uyghurs suspected of such "inclinations" are typically rounded up and sent to Xinjiang's brutal 're-education' camps
Read 8 tweets
17 Dec 20
new: @AlibabaGroup openly offers Uyghur alerts as a service on @alibaba_cloud, allowing customers to be alerted any time Alibaba detects a Uyghur in video or images. via @ipvideo
here is @ipvideo's full report…

and here is Alibaba API guide showing Alibaba offering Uyghur detection

Alibaba deleted it after it was contacted for comment
and read @zhonggg's report in @nytimes about this here…
Read 14 tweets
8 Dec 20
.@Huawei and @Megvii worked together to test and validate 'Uyghur alarms' in facial recognition software, per a document found by @ipvideo
here is @ipvideo's full article on the document which describes Uyghur alarms as a 'basic function'…
Read 9 tweets

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