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Facial Recognition and Google Photos

Israel is reportedly using facial recognition technology to monitor Palestinians in Gaza without their consent. The program, run by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), uses technology from Corsight, an Israeli company, and Google Photos.

Identifying Hamas Members

The surveillance is intended to identify members of Hamas, a militant group. Checkpoints with facial recognition cameras have been set up along roads used by Palestinians fleeing the conflict. Soldiers also use security camera footage, social media videos, and information from Palestinian prisoners to identify suspects.

Mistaken Identities

Corsight’s technology has reportedly led to mistaken identifications, such as the detention of Palestinian poet Mosab Abu Toha. Israeli soldiers stopped him at a checkpoint, beat him, and interrogated him for two days.

Google’s Involvement

Google Photos is used in conjunction with Corsight’s technology. Intelligence officers upload photos of known individuals and use the platform’s search function to identify people. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has condemned this use of Google Photos.

Corsight’s Defense

Corsight claims that less than half of a person’s face is needed for identification. The company has provided its technology to hospitals in Israel for free to identify patients after attacks.

Concerns

Some Israeli officials have expressed concerns that the facial recognition program is a waste of resources. The ongoing conflict in Gaza has resulted in a humanitarian crisis, with thousands of Palestinians killed.