With the help of a research organization called IPVM, The Washington Post found the report detailing the system on the Hauwei website. The company later withdrew the document after the two sought comment – although the company acknowledged the existence of the report. A Huawei spokesperson said the report “is just a test and has not seen real-world application. Huawei only provides general-purpose products for this type of testing. We do not we are not providing custom algorithms or applications. ” According to the document, Huawei provided the servers, cameras and IT infrastructure that underpin the test. The Washington Post was unable to verify whether any of the three facial recognition systems that Huawei and Megvii currently supply in China use the technology they developed in 2018.
The report highlights the potential worst-case scenario when it comes to facial recognition. Experts have warned of the pitfalls of technology for years, including its propensity to misidentifying minorities and people of color. Even if the system were only a test, Huawei’s actions are likely to spark more distrust of the company in the West. For supposed national security reasons, network operators are prohibited from purchasing 5G equipment from the company in a number of countries, including the United States and Australia, and other English-speaking countries like Canada and the UK are also considering restrictions.