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Megvii said it doesn't have any relationship with the IJOP database nor knowledge of why its technology appeared in the police app.
'Megvii does not host any third-party data nor does it have any access to the IJOP platform or the national ID database,' the company said in an emailed reply to questions, adding that Human Rights Watch didn't provide access to the full report before it was published.
The app also uses the central IJOP system to send instructions for officers to investigate certain individuals, prompting them to collect identifying information such as vehicle color and type and log whether they use one of 51 'suspicious' internet tools like WhatsApp or Virtual Private Networks.
The IJOP app, which experts from Human Rights Watch (HRW) downloaded through an app store, functions as a central interface for police officers and other investigators to use to interact with each other, report to other authorities and investigate suspicious people.
According to HRW, "The intrusive, massive collection of personal information through the IJOP app helps explain reports by Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang that government officials have asked them or their family members a bewildering array of personal questions.
Those include people who have stopped using smart phones, those who fail to "socialize with neighbors," and those who "collected money or materials for mosques with enthusiasm." The IJOP platform tracks everyone in Xinjiang.
Just stay home?' He said, 'Yes, that's better than this, right?'" The authorities have programmed the IJOP so that it treats many ordinary and lawful activities as indicators of suspicious behavior.
Another interviewee explained in detail what he saw when he came across an IJOP interface, it deserves to be quoted at length:
IJOP also includes state-of-the-art facial recognition technology that can track individuals' movements regardless of the clothes they wear thanks to new developments in Artificial Intelligence.
If someone is considered to be potentially dangerous according to their data in IJOP, whether it is abnormal purchasing habits, conversations they have, or even religious practices that the Chinese state thinks is contrary to the national identity, they can be detained, sent to internment camps, and have their family be visited by a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) official.
Another private company, CloudWalk, is helping to spearhead IJOP's new facial recognition technology that Human Rights Watch condemned to be dystopian 'predictive policing,' that infringes on individuals rights on a scale never-before-seen.
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