China surveillance firm tracking millions of Muslims leaves database exposed, researcher says

A Chinese surveillance firm using facial recognition technology left one of its databases exposed online for months, according to a prominent security researcher.

A massive database for 2,565,724 people — with names, ID card number, expiration date, home address, date of birth, nationality, gender, photograph, employer and GPS coordinates of locations — was left online without authentication, according to a report from ZDNet.

Security researcher Victor Gevers, who found the database, told ZDNet that over a 24-hour period, a steady stream of nearly 6.7 million GPS coordinates was recorded, which means the database was actively tracking Uyghur Muslims as they moved around Xinjiang province in China.

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Human rights groups have said that China is keeping hundreds of thousands of Uyghur Muslims in internment camps, where they are indoctrinated, forced to perform labor and detained.

“The Chinese state has changed the facts on the ground in Xinjiang so dramatically that it has allowed little time for other countries to meaningfully react,” a report from Human Rights Watch said.

Australia's ABC News conducted a major probe into the internment camps.

According to ZDNet, there are some reports that the ethnic minority Muslim population has also been forced to install spyware on their phones.

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Chinese police officers already use facial recognition glasses to monitor crowds and the Communist country has studied the possibility of using small drones to bolster its sprawling surveillance network.

Fox News' Elizabeth Llorente contributed to this report.