Illegal Hikvision Fever Screening Touted In Australia, Government Investigating, Temperature References Deleted

By Charles Rollet, Published Oct 20, 2020, 08:52am EDT

The Australian government told IPVM that they are investigating a Hikvision fever screening system touted by a Sydney clubhouse despite Hikvision's lack of Australian medical device approval.

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They emphasized to IPVM that "it is a criminal offence to supply or advertise" an unregistered medical device.

This news comes despite Hikvision's rival Dahua facing widespread public scrutiny over their fever screening sales in Australia, to the point that the Australian government even got Dahua to remove a wrongly filed medical device registration.

In this post, IPVM examines this incident.

After IPVM notified the club and Hikvision, the article promoting this deployment suddenly had all references to temperature screening deleted without any disclosure. The system was installed by a "Diamond Level Hikvision Dealer Partner".

Hikvision Temperature Screening In Sydney Praised

On October 13, industry publication Security Electronics and Networks published an article stating that "[local dealer] ARA has installed Hikvision thermal temperature scanning cameras and people counting cameras supported by a Hikvision NVR at Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club in Sydney".

The article included photos of the system showing that it read, "if you are found to be present with a fever you may not be permitted to enter":

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Ironically, the temperature screening image displayed (the woman in the blue shirt) was taken from FLIR's marketing material (though there is no evidence that FLIR is involved in this outside of the club taking FLIR's marketing).

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Clubhouse CEO Touts Temperature Screening

The article quoted Ryde Eastwood's CEO Carl Pozzato explaining that he wanted to "respond to any high temperature incidents in real time" due to COVID-19 concerns:

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“We started looking at thermal imaging when we reopened after the initial COVID lockdown – we were interested in assessing temperatures,” Pozzato explains... omething that would provide the team an alert so we could respond to any high temperature incidents in real time.

“Obviously people may not be well and not have a fever, but in other cases there may be a correlation. There’s also a deterrent factor that might make people who have been ordered to self-isolate, or who are not feeling well, think twice about visiting a venue with temperature scanning technology in place.” [emphasis added]

High Throughput - Increased Error Risk

As Hikvision has done throughout the world, this deployment centered on high throughput and scanning many people simultaneously and passively, as the end user emphasized in the original SEN article:

Our main entry and foyer has high traffic flows with multiple patrons at a time, so we had to have a solution that could pick up 6-8 people simultaneously [emphasis added]

Doing so further increases errors as people's foreheads (which Hikvision only scans) will often be obstructed by hair, hats, and even other people as they walk together 6 to 8 at a time.

Integrator A "Diamond Level Hikvision Dealer Partner", Praises Hikvision

The article showed Pozzato with Dave Vella (left), project supervisor at local security firm ARA, which was "awarded" a "Diamond Level Hikvision Dealer Partner" in 2017.

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Vella praised Hikvision's "support" for setting up the system as "very good", confirming Hikvision Australia actively participated in the project:

When it came to support, Hikvision was very good. Because we were demanding some things they weren’t prepared for, the Hikvision team adapted firmware for us, which was great. They were also very quick to respond to requests for help – they got back to us immediately – we can’t commend them highly enough on their customer service [emphasis added]

Australian Government Bans Unregistered Fever Cams Like Hikvision's

The problem with all this is that several months ago, the Australian government's medical device regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, declared any "body temperature measuring devices" and "thermal imaging" products used for screening are ClassIIa medical devices.

This means they must be registered in the TGA's database, the ARTG, prior to import and/or supply; however, Hikvision has not obtained any ARTG approval, a search of the database confirms.

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TGA Response to IPVM

IPVM informed the TGA of the Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club deployment. In response, the TGA said it was "not aware of the installation" and that "this matter has been referred for investigation". Below is the TGA's full statement to IPVM:

The TGA is not aware of the installation of the "thermal temperature scanning cameras" made by Hikvision at the Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club.

In Australia, by law, a product is a medical device and is regulated by the TGA, when the product is intended by its manufacturer to be used for the diagnosis, prevention, monitoring, prediction, prognosis, treatment or alleviation of a disease, injury or disability. Therefore, any temperature measuring product or thermal imaging technology, with the intended purpose of assessing the temperature of humans (including for symptoms of COVID-19), are considered medical devices and must be included on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) prior to their importation and/or supply.

It is a criminal offence to supply or advertise a medical device that is not included in the ARTG.

Any products that are brought to the TGA’s attention, will be investigated and appropriate action taken in relation to any illegal supply or advertising of therapeutic products. We encourage anyone with concerns in relation to COVID-19 related claims being made about a therapeutic good to provide information via the online advertising complaint form or to https://www.tga.gov.au/report-perceived-breach-or-questionable-practices#contacts

This matter has been referred for investigation.

Hikvision/Clubhouse No Response But Article Covertly Updated

IPVM requested comment from Pozzato and Hikvision/Hikvision Australia. We did not receive any response, however, shortly thereafter, the Security Electronics and Networks article was covertly updated with all references to temperature screening removed. (The original article was archived by IPVM and can be read here.)

For example, the opening line until hours ago was:

ARA has installed Hikvision thermal temperature scanning cameras and people counting cameras supported by a Hikvision NVR at Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club in Sydney. [emphasis added]

Now, the opening line deletes the temperature cameras reference:

ARA has installed Hikvision people counting cameras supported by a Hikvision NVR at Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club in Sydney.

Hikvision Australia Touts MinMoe Temp Screening On Front Page

As of today, Hikvision's Australia website touts MinMoe Temperature Screening Terminals:

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However, the link to the product itself does not work:

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Others Touting Hikvision Fever Screening

IPVM found several other Australian firms selling Hikvision fever screening despite the lack of government approval:

We contacted them all but only OneTemp responded, stating it is a “Face Recognition Access Terminal with Stand” NOT a fever scanning device"; however, the product details mentions "temperature" over a dozen times. AV Australia did not respond but deleted the product shortly after we contacted them:

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UPDATE 10/21: OneTemp has now deleted the Hikvision MinMoe system from its website, it told IPVM. Indeed, the listing now reads "sorry - this product is no longer available":

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Conclusion

The Australian government has been clear for months that fever screening devices are medical devices subject to legal registration prior to their supply, advertising, use, etc. However, giving up sales of lucrative high-margin surveillance gear is clearly a lesson that has been difficult for some to learn.

Comments (9)

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Charles, good reporting!

I want to thank the multiple Australian security professionals who notified us of this case. With your help, we can better and more swiftly call out safety and performance risks.

You can always email info@ipvm.com, charles@ipvm.com, john@ipvm.com, etc. with tips, all tips are confidential and the people informing us will not be publicly disclosed by us.

"Diamond Level?" It appears HIKVision has adopted the Amway multi-level marketing approach to global sales.

Please TGA, start fining all of these people who are doing the wrong thing.

UPDATE: OneTemp has now deleted the Hikvision MinMoe system from its website, it told IPVM. Indeed, the listing now reads "sorry - this product is no longer available":

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OneTemp had initially claimed the product was "NOT a fever scanning device" despite the original specs mentioning "temperature" over a dozen times.

PMT Installs Thermal BTM Solution For Phillippa's Bakery | Security Electronics and Networks

how is this any different. And it mentions it is used for body temperature detection.

Thanks for sharing! The article has been deleted, but I archived a copy.

To be fair to the bakery/PMT, this article is from April. But it was only in May that the TGA issued its announcement clarifying that they consider fever cams medical devices.

I've reached out to the bakery & PMT asking whether they are still deploying fever screening.

Hi Charles,

The information was freely available on the TGA website back in March when I first started researching the legal / licensing requirements for these devices. Yes you had to actually read the information, then think about it to interpret it, but it was all though.

If people are too lazy or ignorant to not look for information, rather than wait for a simple sound bite type info feed, then that is their problem, not mine, not the TGAs. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

So another Integrator that should be fined, PMT. A distributor (in TGA terms a sponsor) who should also feel the full wrath of TGA @ $9000 per unit imported.

It's like Whack a Mole. And I'll bet the distributors who've stopped advertising will still be trying to move the stock in their warehouses to rubes and suckers.

Here is my podcast on this type of thing with John Honovich.

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