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Israel has rolled out a massive facial recognition program in the Gaza Strip - The New York Times

Israel has rolled out a massive facial recognition program in the Gaza Strip - The New York Times
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Images are matched with a database of Palestinians allegedly linked to HAMAS.

As reported by The New York Times, Israeli military intelligence has recently introduced an experimental facial recognition program in Gaza, created by the Tel Aviv-based company Corsight, to identify individuals associated with HAMAS.

Following the attacks on October 7, Israeli army officers identified potential targets by reviewing security camera footage and videos uploaded by HAMAS on social networks. Some Palestinian prisoners were also used for identification purposes.

Corsight used the obtained photos to create a facial recognition tool and boasted that its technology could accurately identify a person even if less than 50% of the face is visible. To expand the database, Israeli military set up checkpoints equipped with facial recognition cameras along the main roads where Palestinians were fleeing to the south.

At the same time, the military says the tool was not always accurate in cases where the footage was grainy or people's faces were obscured, it mistakenly identified them as affiliated with HAMAS. In a similar incident, the system flagged Palestinian poet Mosab Abu Toha, who in mid-November was trying to leave Gaza for Egypt through one of the Israeli checkpoints. It is reported that the man was held in isolation, interrogated, and beaten for two days before being released without explanation.

The Corsight technology was supplemented by Google Photos for free, where databases were uploaded and the photo search function was used for further identification of individuals. One officer told the Times that the Google tool worked better and could identify a person even if only a small part of the face was visible.

In October, as reported by Forbes, some hospitals in Israel began using Corsight technology to identify patients with "injuries," matching them with photos sent by relatives.

In 2020, Corsight claimed that its technology could identify faces in masks, and two years later announced that it was developing a tool that could "create a person's face model based on their DNA." Last year, Corsight collaborated with the police in Bogota, Colombia, to search for suspects in murders and thefts on public transport.

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