Dahua Offers Race Recognition - "Black", "White", "Yellow"

By IPVM Team, Published Feb 09, 2021, 11:00am EST

Dahua offers race recognition, verified by Dahua's own software client, SDK, technical documentation, and public bids, IPVM has found.

Dahua says they can recognize, in their words, "white" vs "yellow" vs "black". The company touted a "skin color" detecting AI camera in China and now its latest end user software includes "race" recognition.

This directly contradicts Dahua telling media that it "does not sell products that feature [an] ethnicity-focused recognition function".

IPVM collaborated with the LA Times on this report, see: LA Times Race detection and ‘real-time Uighur warnings’ — inside Dahua’s facial recognition technology.

SmartPSS Includes "Race"

Dahua's latest client/end user facing software, SmartPSS, includes "race" as a "face recognition" category:

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The software connects to Dahua devices offering race recognition.

Dahua SDK - Black, White, Yellow

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Dahua's own SDK, from its 'downloads' webpage, includes three 'races': "black", "white", and "yellow":

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This was the same code that went viral on Twitter for including code specifically targeting Uyghurs, leading Dahua to delete the SDK and claim to The South China Morning Post that it "does not sell products that feature [an] ethnicity-focused recognition function".

Dahua Camera Includes "Skin Color"

Dahua touted "skin color" recognition on its own China product page for the DH-SD-8A1240WC-HNF, which Dahua says supports "Ethnic Skin Color" (人种肤色) recognition:

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Notably, Dahua's crosstown rival Hikvision touted an Uyghur-detecting AI camera in 2019, IPVM revealed.

Bid Mentions Dahua Race Rec

A bid request from China's Central South University in Hunan Province for a different Dahua camera mentioned the same term, "Ethnic Skin Color" 人种肤色, in the specs:

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IPVM could not find more publicly available details about this specific Dahua camera model (DH-SDT-5X409-4F-06ZH-WA).

Drops Dahua Over "Race" Analytics

Daniel Lewkovitz, CEO of Sydney security provider Calamity Monitoring, who first notified IPVM about SmartPSS offering the "race" category, said he was dropping Dahua in response:

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"We have now moved away from Dahua because of this and other security providers now have an ethical decision, not simply one of price. This decision may hurt us commercially in the short term but our values are everything and I will not support this type of behaviour."

Risk Of Race Rec Spreading

Race analytics usage is almost unheard among video surveillance integrators outside China (although some Western face recognition firms, like Facewatch, do provide it.) As these controversial analytics become integrated into Dahua's global (non-PRC) solutions, this raises the risk of race detection software spreading worldwide.

Risk For Dahua

This also presents a long-term risk for Dahua as race analytics are much more controversial outside China and more firms may drop Dahua for ethical reasons. Then again, Dahua is a company that boasts of human rights sanctions showcasing its "strong technological capability".

No Response from Dahua

IPVM contacted Dahua more than a day and a half prior to publishing, detailing the evidence discovered, but Dahua did not respond.

1 report cite this report:

Dahua and Hikvision Co-Author Racial And Ethnic PRC Police Standards on Mar 30, 2021
Hikvision and Dahua helped write Chinese police video surveillance standards...

Comments (51)

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Undeniable proof.

Unfortunately, without a large public outcry, most integrators using Dahua now will ignore this and continue to use them.

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Unfortunately, without a large public outcry, most integrators using Dahua now will ignore this and continue to use them.

With OEMing most integrators who use Dahua don't know they use Dahua.

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Geez.... it's almost too crazy to think this is real.

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Congratulations to Daniel of Calamity for showing some leadership in this.

Now we just need more to follow his lead & hit this scumbag company where it really hurts - in the hip pocket.

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Thank you.

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Support your decision~~~^^;;

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Support Dan's stance in the only way we can here at IPVM, by giving him Agree and Informative upvotes! Extend his IPVM membership a bit. :-)

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No brown?

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No, the SDK only had three 'races': Black, Yellow, White.

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If we find more 'races' Dahua detects, we will update this piece.

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The best function would be a Jew detection. But this will be difficult since they are east europeen in fact ;-)

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Tobias, why would the best function be a 'Jew detection'?

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Because money roules the world. That causes the globalisation and the race problems with it.

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money roules the world

What does that have to do with Jewish people?

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They have the money witch roules the world.

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Presumably, it's some particular number of Jews or Christians or Muslims or Whites or Asians, etc.? Why would we want to detect the group members generically rather than specific individuals who have committed a wrongdoing?

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Because they hold together and profit. They do nothing against Rothschild and Rockefeller foundation. If you name the problem of the Highfinance, they would call you anti-semitic and bring you to the police.

And to stop only the top 5 Zionists will not stop what is going on.

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If you name the problem of the Highfinance, they would call you anti-semitic and bring you to the police.

The thing about being a garden variety antisemite, is that people are likely to call you one.

Delete your account.

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Freedom of speech is strong in USA and important for the democracy.

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Too bad freedom of speech is not actually strong, or actually important to many in the USA. Those terms, ideas and components of 'rights' are cherry picked by U.S. and other media/groups around the globe depending on the particular narrative that is being propagated by these various groups. It is OK for one group to say something but if another, opposing group says the same(or opposite) thing, relating it to a different point of view, it is deemed to be unacceptable. I believe that may also be referred to as hypocrisy. The US is not truly a free country; in part for this reason. Free speech FOR ALL, IS important for Democracy or a Democratic Republic, but in practice, in today's world, less realistic. Many wish it actually was stronger. But I digress....

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Freedom of speech means that the government ("Congress") cannot enact laws to limit your speech. It does not mean that private entities need to allow you to say anything you want. Nor does it mean that you can't or shouldn't be held responsible for whatever reaction your speech provokes. Deeming something unacceptable is not outlawing it.

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I'm pleased you chimed in, Ethan. It was what I expected. I never spoke of the definition of free speech, but simply how it is being valued, practiced and in some 'real world' examples, limited, but am happy you did move to provide clarification for those that may have misunderstood the post, such as yourself. I was more-so referring to how the term is thrown around in order to practice that right until those responsible for operating these media and social-media platforms simply pick and choose what is OK to say and what is not. Wouldn't it be great to be able to still have reasonable access to unbiased platforms to practice 'free speech' in the U.S. (you know, the speech congress cannot limit but all major communications platforms can limit)? You certainly must understand as well as all of the rest of us that as technology changes, so do the modes/methods of transmitting the speech. How nice it is that everyone was sold on these wonderful social media platforms as a means to communicate and express thoughts and ideas, only to be silenced when certain, reasonable, legitimate, but maybe unpopular opinions sneak out of one's mind. And actually, you can't and shouldn't be held responsible (under free speech in terms of law) for 'others' actions, based on spoken or written word. But if you can be held responsible, it should apply to everyone, not just some. It is not the responsibility of the person simply speaking, to determine whether or not it will 'provoke' anyone to take unlawful actions. Someone is always feeling provoked by something someone else says. It is, however, the responsibility of those feeling 'provoked' to conduct 'their' actions in a manner that follows the law. >>>>>>>>>>>>This topic was not meant to dwell on 'free speech' but rather, on whether or not a company should be held responsible for providing technology that was or could be misused and did they lie about their technological abilities. If the company is to be shamed or held responsible, let's do away with AI/analytics altogether. Any of the analytic data can be misused and any technology can be misused. The ones actually responsible are those misusing the information. For instance; What is the first thing law enforcement asks witnesses to a bank robbery? "Can you describe the person? What did they look like, how did they sound, were they White, Black, yellow, green blue"? How tall were they, were they large or small in weight. "Gee whiz officer, I don't know if it would be appropriate for me to describe this person; I may be racist for describing their ethnicity or I may be body shaming if I were to place a label on the description or the words I used to describe them..Would I somehow be biased by providing you with their approximate age or god forbid, what if I chose the wrong gender and got the wrong person apprehended?"....What industry are we in again? We collect information...

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For instance; What is the first thing law enforcement asks witnesses to a bank robbery? "Can you describe the person? What did they look like, how did they sound, were they White, Black, yellow, green blue"? H

This is not relevant to the use-case by Dahua.

If you know the timeframe, location or suspect details, you also know enough about the incident to be able to go straight to the relevant footage. If you only know that 'something happened overnight' you don't have enough information to be able to tell a Super Useful Feature that you're looking for a "black male" or "yellow female" (to use Dahua's categories).

This is a 'solution' to a problem that doesn't actually exist and your argument seems to suggest there are valid use cases. There aren't. This is before you consider that the same detection can trigger live alerts. For example, a camera on the front door of a shop that closes a relay and notifies a security guard every time "Black male" is detected walking in the store.

Do you see the problem yet?

I have absolutely no discomfort in profiling by race, gender, appearance etc. in identifying suspects. Political correctness has no impact on my views here. Believe me however, I spoke with colleagues and contemplated every conceivable 'valid' law enforcement, security or property protection benefit which might somehow justify this race detection 'feature'. The best possible excuse we could come up for why it might be valid with so tenuous, at best, there was no way but to view this but cynically and with the contempt it deserves.

The fact Uighur was one of the categories should remove any lingering doubt.

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Strong? No, it's never been worse.

Unfortunately, some don't know how to use what is left wisely.

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they would call you anti-semitic

Not just them...

But what you are describing is a lot like what China is describing with Uyghurs. There's some undefined number of Uyghurs that they claim are terrorists. I don't see, as a matter of ethics or practicality, why we should track down every Jew, Uyghur, Italian, Mexican, Swede, what have you, versus focusing on specific people that have committed specific acts.

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"There are only two things I can't stand in this world: People who are intolerant of other people's cultures, and the Dutch."

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John,

How about doing the ONE AND ONLY correct thing now by canceling this neo-nazi's membership and blocking all further posts from him???

You want to rail about Dahua racism and yet you will have a "chat" with someone as blatant as this on your forum?

DO THE RIGHT THING.

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I did not have a 'chat'. I asked a series of questions that exposed flaws in his rationale. I believe in convincing people of what is right, not screaming at them. It is the same approach I take with the human rights abuses that Dahua and Hikvision engage in.

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Read the link I posted. You are engaging with a well established neo-nazi and welcoming him to spew his ignorant hatred on what used to be a business-related forum. You think YOU are going to turn this guy??

Wake up and do the right thing. No screaming here, just common sense and decency.

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I think I am going to show people reading this how groundless his claims are.

His comments are embarassing and do more to reveal how foolish he is than anything else.

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Wrong. Dead wrong. It shows that IPVM is a welcoming forum for neo nazis.

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We don't delete comments from people supporting China's human rights abuses. That does not mean we are 'welcoming' China human rights abuses, it means we are confident that a straightforward discussion with evidence and logic is better than barring such people.

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Ok, John, please give me an example of someone here openly "supporting China's human rights abuses". Just one person that clearly supports human rights abuse. Who are you trying to kid??

Yet here you throw out the welcome mat for the single most hate based organization in human history. IPVM welcomes Neo-nazis to its forums.

Wake up.

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For one, there's 'Nicky Tan' who pretty much every week defends China's human rights abuses and attacks IPVM on LinkedIn (which we could easily delete but we don't). For example on this Dahua race/Uyghur offering, he posted:

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I don't believe in deleting people with contrary opinions, even if I think they are unethical and stupid.

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Fail. Not even close.

You made your call, John. Neo-nazis are welcome here.

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Cancel the nazi's account, or I cancel mine. You lose money either way, just deal with it and do the right thing.

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Cancel the nazi's account, or I cancel mine. You lose money either way, just deal with it and do the right thing.

IPVM Image ...IPVM Image

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I see a market for moron detection. Your writing would definitely populate the training dataset.

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How odd that you are from Germany Tobias. Where have I heard of Germans being bigoted towards Jew's before? Let me think.......

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I am from switzerland. But geneticly this is also german. God is in us.

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I am not a fan of cancel culture at all but I am beginning to see the appeal.....

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Wow... this is the most shocking running commentary I have ever seen outside of black and white videos with tank parades.

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You are a well known Swiss NEO NAZI.

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I also agree that his comments should be redacted or censored and he be booted for his insensitivity and unethical behavior. He purposely is baiting people and promoting his ideology that is racist and should not be tolerated on a professional forum!

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I could not agree more.

Maybe someone should reach out to a Grand Dragon (or whatever) in the Klan and invite him here to spread a little hatred. John H seems to be willing to let them in the door...and it is the same vicious hatred represented by this Nazi Stiegler.

This is NOT a public park or square that is subject to being abused by people who use our hard won freedoms against us, this is a PRIVATE FORUM that should display at least basic level of common sense when it comes to allowing elements like this to invade.

John, who else would you like to hear from? Al Qaeda? NAMBLA?

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John, who else would you like to hear from? Al Qaeda?

If we wrote an article on Al Qaeda or terrorism and someone from Al Qaeda responded, I would be open to hearing and questioning them. Are you going to call me a terrorist for that?

This is an article about doing racist video analytics and a racist replied advocating racist video analytics. I questioned him showing how flawed his position is.

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It is good that this got out, unfortunate that this is happening. However, it has been well-known for long that Dahua and Hikvision supply the methods PRC uses to monitor its people - if the PRC wants the technology the companies will deliver. It's business. What other stuff haven't we found yet? Only time will tell.

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Im' wondering when the 'Gender' and 'Age' options will become a 'problem'...Should they not already be a 'problem' if 'ethnicity' is a 'problem'. Then maybe, I wonder if having 'color' imagery available is also a 'problem'. Maybe simple low-resolution B&W imagery is the way to go. That way the playing field will be entirely level. Im also wondering if there are other currently acceptable analytics that may offend that should also be removed. Hmmm..lets see.....

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IPVM either welcomes Nazis or it does not. Which way are you going, John??

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Basler Neonazi und Ex-Pnos-Chef Tobias Steiger wegen Rassendiskriminierung verurteilt - 20 Minuten

JOHN HANOVICH...DO YOU NEED MORE THAN THIS????

Go to Stiegler's website and note his photo here and there....

Photo caption: "The public prosecutor's office in Basel-Stadt has sentenced the former Pnos section head Tobias Steiger to a conditional fine and a fine. " Note also that "Pnos" is the Partei National Orientierter Schweizer.

Another caption: " The now 46-year-old made statements that, according to the public prosecutor's office, disregard human dignity and call for hatred of Jews."

But, hey, the door is open at IPVM!

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I thought you were canceling? Do it already or get off the soap box and move on.

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