back to article Alibaba admits it built facial-recognition-as-a-service to detect oppressed Uyghur minority in China

Alibaba Group today admitted its cloud business developed what it is described as “a facial recognition technology … that included ethnicity as an algorithm attribute for tagging video imagery,” then vowed it will never again see the light of day. The Chinese web and e-commerce giant also made references to “recent reports” …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good luck on your next IPO...

    How's that line go again? oh yeah...

    I am Jacks lack of meaningful remorse.

    Can we get them blocked by Visa and Mastercard too? I'm pretty sure ethnocide, genocide and slavery are all worse than porn. They literally have been using them as slave labor in cotton fields.

    "Never again see the light of day" it what you say about a coverup. They should be providing the footage they helped collect to the Hague, not trying to pretend they didn't help fortify the concentration camps and hope everyone forgets.

    1. tfewster

      Re: Good luck on your next IPO...

      Does the Chinese government count as a "customer"? Would Alibaba really develop this capability "under duress" and then refuse to implement it?

      Chinese government policy on Uyghurs stinks, but collaborators are no better.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Alibaba is also behind a massive mobile advertising fraud campaign here in the US using GoDaddy's servers.

    I reported this along with many examples to GoDaddy's abuse department.

  3. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

    What about ...?

    Hey, just wanted to be the first to ask "What about that thing over there that The West has done?" The West is just as bad, so your criticism of China is invalid! Now go read the collected works of A.A. Milne, comrade.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What about ...?

      I'd argue the West is worse (barely). Here in the USA this sort of news is gagged by the US government, well, unless someone like Edward Snowden pops up. I can tell you all about the USA's industrial revolution and I can tell you it wasn't clean or even remotely ethical. China's treatment of their workers during their current industrial revolution (ie. now) is identical to that of which the USA treated their workers... almost. For instance, the only signs in China that technology has progressed worldwide for their industrial workers is that *some* are offered sleeping quarters at work, that is actually a large step up from what the USA workers had. But outside of that... same, same.

      Of course the criticism of the Chinese government for doing this isn't invalid at all, but it is sad that Western governments have trained their people so well that they are very eager to jump to be critical of others. Whatever, I'm sitting behind a keyboard so I won't be changing it, how about you?

      1. A. Coatsworth Silver badge

        Re: What about ...?

        The mere fact that you are behind a keyboard telling the world -with total impunity- what you think of your government, shows very clearly who's got the sh*ttier end of the stick on this.

        I'd say "go and try to do that in China" but re-education camps are a thing, and I don't wish that fate to my worst enemy.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It seems that China is the future of the world. Money is there now... West is in decline. This is what we've got to look forward to.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      It seems that China is the future of the world. Money is there now... West is in decline. This is what we've got to look forward to.

      China is where the cheap unskilled factory-fodder currently is. But those wages have been rising for about a decade now as labour demand outstrips supply and standards of living in China generally rise. Give it ten or twenty years and they will join much of the rest of Asia, Japan, USA, Europe etc as post-industrial rust belts where non-specialist manufacturing isn't competitive any more.

      I imagine the next stop is Africa. Unskilled labour is already cheaper in much of Africa than in China, the only thing that prevents industry moving there now are the cost overheads of dealing with the endemic corruption and the warlords.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Capitalism meet Terrorism.....

  7. TheMole

    but had not put it into production for any clients.......

    That statement may be true, but potentially meaningless as it allows for :

    "but we did sell them the source code and a compiler."

    "because they haven't yet finished the beta test"

    "given that state security are not a client in the standard definition"


  8. Trigonoceps occipitalis

    "vowed it will never again see the light of day"

    Because we all know that things in cyberspace evaporate after a fortnight or so.

    Mind you, it could be stored on a cloud somewhere.

  9. very angry man

    Bio Computa's everyones dream

    Bio Computa's, Cheap, completely reliable in mass networking situations, still problematical in solo mode. they come with a range of operating systems, Amerkin, British, Russian Chinese, and many others easily installed. Are easily programed through a variety of interfaces facebork, instergain, tawater, focxnews, Cnnt, and many others. they are self replicating (try stopping them) can infiltrate any existing system and bring about totale disruption, plumbing electrical,Political, waste removal, just plug one in and wait. Runs self generating feedback loop that imitates AI, facebork , ect... This is the standard model and readily available on amazone, Many customized models are available through military surplus stores everyware.

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