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Amazon Reportedly Paid Nearly $10 Million to a Blacklisted Surveillance Tech from China


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Amazon Reportedly Paid Nearly $10 Million to a Blacklisted Surveillance Tech from China

As reported by the Reuters, Amazon reportedly paid nearly $10 million for purchasing thermal imaging cameras to monitor employee temperatures, from the US blacklisted company accused of aiding China in its human rights abuses against Uighur people. 
The eCommerce giant, Amazon reportedly purchased 1,500 cameras from China’s Zhejiang Dahua earlier this month to control the spread of COVID-19 through its warehouses.
At least one-third of those cameras were said to be destined for use in Amazon facilities across the US.
China's Zhejiang Dahua is one of the largest makers of surveillance camera tech in the world, and its products are often relabelled and sold under other popular brand names such as Honeywell.

These cameras are able to remotely monitor the temperature in human beings by reading heat signatures. Because fever is a common early symptom of the coronavirus, the technology is being employed as a way to prevent the disease from spreading.
Amazon is already implementing similar technology on employees at Whole Foods stores in the US.
Though the company, Zhejiang Dahua Technology, is blacklisted by the US government, sales to private companies aren't illegal. Neither Dahua nor Amazon officially confirming any purchases.

However, In an email exchange with Business Insider, Amazon spokesperson Rena Lunak confirmed that Amazon is implementing;
"The use of thermal imagers from multiple manufacturers for temperature screening to create a more streamlined experience for our employees." 
She also noted that "None of this equipment has network connectivity, and no personally identifiable information will be visible, collected, or stored."

Amazon said it is not using facial recognition on any of its thermal cameras. Civil liberties groups have warned the software could strip people of privacy and lead to arbitrary apprehensions if relied on by police. U.S. authorities have also worried that equipment makers like Dahua could hide a technical “back door” to Chinese government agents seeking intelligence.
In response to questions about the thermal systems, Amazon said in a statement, 
“None of this equipment has network connectivity, and no personally identifiable information will be visible, collected, or stored.”

Dahua made the decision to market its technology in the United States before the FDA issued the guidance on thermal cameras in the pandemic. Its supply is attracting many U.S. customers not stopped by the blacklist, according to Evan Steiner, who sells surveillance equipment from a range of manufacturers in California through his firm EnterActive Networks LLC.
“You’re seeing a lot of companies doing everything that they possibly can preemptively to prepare for their workforce coming back,” he said.

For more information read the official report from [Reuters ##eye##]...

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