Hikvision Won’t Say If Its Cameras Are Used In Internment Camps
Chinese security camera manufacturer Hikvision, sold as EZVIZ in Australia, has remained elusive on whether its cameras are used in Uyghur internment camps in Xinjiang.
UK Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner Professor Fraser Sampson has slammed Hikvision, whose products are used by local councils, over reports from the country’s Foreign Affairs Committee that its cameras are the “primary surveillance technology” in these camps which have played host to alleged sexual abuse, forced labour, and torture.
Sampson demanded a response from Hikvision as to whether it agreed crimes were being perpetrated against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities by the Chinese Government in Xinjiang.
In a response, Justin Hollis, Marketing Director – UK & Ireland at Hikvision, said Hikvision was “not a competent arbiter” on the matter, which was “beyond [its] capability to make a judgement”.
“Hikvision fully embraces and has implemented the foundational and operational principles laid out in the U.N. Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights.
“We do not oversee and control our devices once they are passed to installers and we have no access to our devices without users’ authorisation. Operational matters are not within our remit,” he said.
Sampson was not impressed by Hikvision’s response, he told the BBC, saying that whether the cameras were used in internment camps was a “simple enough question” and lambasting the statement as “not really an answer”.
“Our parliamentary committee accepted that these internment camps exist and that substantial and sustained human rights abuses are being enabled by sophisticated surveillance technology.
“I need to understand the level of Hikvision’s involvement,” he said.
US President Joe Biden has banned American investments in Hikvision by executive order.