Amazon buys camera systems from US government-banned Zhejiang Dahua Technology


Amazon has spent $10 million to buy 1,500 cameras to take the temperature of workers from the Chinese firm Zhejiang Dahua Technology Company even though the US previously blacklisted Dahua because it was alleged to have helped China detain and monitor the Uighurs and other Muslim minorities.

The cameras work by comparing a person’s radiation with a separate infrared calibration device and uses face detection technology to make sure it is looking for heat in the right part of the subjects passing by; a recording device keeps snapshots of the faces the cameras detect and their temperatures.

The cameras can incorporate optional facial recognition software in order to determine who else a virus patient may have been near while awaiting temperature checks, but Amazon says it is not using this feature. At least 500 of the cameras are destined for use in the US; however, the procurement is legal because the rules only control government contract awards and exports to blacklisted firms.

Dahua cameras have also been used by IBM and Chrysler, and in hospitals, airports, train stations, government offices, and factories; the company also makes white-label cameras that are sold under dozens of other brandnames, including Honeywell. Dahua has denied the US allegations.


Writer: Reuters
Publication: Guardian