Sunday 15 December 2019

Israeli Face-Recognition Start-up ‘Secretly Tracking Palestinians’

A start-up known as “Israel’s most high-profile biometric recognition firm” is playing a key role in monitoring Palestinians at checkpoints in the occupied West Bank, reported Haaretz.

As Reported by Qods News Agency (Qodsna) According to the article, Anyvision Interactive Technologies “is taking part in two special projects in assisting the Israeli army in the West Bank”.


One project “involves a system that it has installed at army checkpoints that thousands of Palestinians pass through each day on their way to work from the West Bank.”


This Israeli face-recognition startup is secretly tracking Palestinians

— (@haaretzcom) July 14, 2019


In a statement in February, the army said that “27 biometric crossings” had been established in the West Bank, as part of a “wide-ranging” effort to “upgrade” the checkpoints in question.


The second project, however, “is much more confidential”, reported Haaretz, and “includes facial recognition technology elsewhere in the West Bank, not just at border crossings”, as “cameras deep inside the West Bank try to spot and monitor potential Palestinian assailants”.


Anyvision’s president, Amir Kain, is the former head of Malmab, the Defense Ministry’s security department, while one of the company’s advisers is Tamir Pardo, a former head of Mossad.


This Israeli face-recognition #startup is secretly tracking Palestinians  Haaretz Anyvision has cameras deep inside the West Bank, allowing the army to quickly identify whether the person passing through ha… via @theafricamentor #africabiz

— Africa Mentor (@TheAfricaMentor) July 14, 2019


The company claims to operate in 43 countries and at more than 350 locations such as stadiums, airports and casinos, and recently raised $31 million from Microsoft’s M12 venture capital fund.


As reported by Haaretz, “Anyvision’s involvement in the West Bank is being revealed amid a lively debate around the world on the use of biometric technology, especially facial recognition.”


The Israeli army is "collecting the personal details of West Bank Palestinians, as part of its surveillance of public spaces. To this end, soldiers conduct patrols & set up temporary checkpoints. Young men who pass through are required to fill out a form."

— Ben White (@benabyad) March 7, 2018


According to the paper, “the Israeli surveillance operation in the West Bank is undoubtedly among the largest of its kind in the world. It includes monitoring the media, social media and the population as a whole — and now it turns out also the biometric signature of West Bank Palestinians.”

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