China using artificial intelligence to track largely Muslim minority: report

China is reportedly using artificial intelligence to monitor its minority Muslim population.

According to The New York Times, Chinese authorities are using a widespread and secret facial recognition system to track the Uighurs, who are mostly Muslims, throughout the country.

China is using the facial recognition technology in combination with an existing network of surveillance cameras, according to interviews and documents reviewed by the Times.

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The newspaper reviewed databases of images used by Chinese police to reportedly track daily activities of the country’s roughly 11 million Uighurs.

The databases allow Chinese officials to search and review the whereabouts of Uighurs based on compiled images, according to the Times.

Many Uighurs have already been funneled into the country’s westernmost region of Xinjiang, with as many as 1 million being held in re-education camps, the newspaper noted.

Its reporting shows the widespread use of tracking through facial recognition software, initially thought to be limited to Xinjiang.

Nearly two dozen Chinese police departments across 16 provinces and regions requested the technology in 2018 alone, according to the Times.

The software is reportedly effective in China because the Uighur population often looks different from the country’s majority Han demographic.