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Australian University wants ‘unethical’ facial recognition study of Uyghur minority group be retracted

An Australian university is calling for a controversial facial recognition study by an ex-faculty member to be retracted by its publisher.

The research, which was co-funded by China, used facial recognition software to identify members of the Uyghur minority group.

But Curtin University said the study breached ethics guidelines, with the subjects not giving informed consent and that it had now strengthened its oversight.




The publisher, Wiley, said it was looking again at the research.

In a statement, Wiley said it had previously investigated the study and was “now reviewing the matter again taking into account the new information provided by Curtin University”.

The chair of the Australian parliament’s intelligence and security committee, James Paterson, said he remained concerned.



“It does raise troubling questions about how this research was allowed to be conducted in the first place and why it went undetected for so long,” he told ABC News.

China has faced multiple allegations of abuses against Uyghurs, including accusations it has committed genocide and forcibly sterilized women.

Human rights groups believe China has detained more than one million Uyghurs in a large network of what the state calls “re-education camps”, and sentenced hundreds of thousands to prison terms.

China has denied all accusations it has mistreated Uyghurs.