Asia China Politics United Kingdom

UK removes Chinese cameras from government buildings over security risks

A Chinese camera company may share confidential information with third parties, including the Chinese government.

On Thursday, the British government asked its departments to stop installing surveillance cameras linked to China, citing security risks. It is reported by Reuters.

The decision came after reviewing “the current and future possible security risks associated with the installation of visual surveillance systems on government property,” Cabinet Minister Oliver Dowden said in a written statement to Parliament.

” The study concluded that in light of the threat to the UK and the increase in the capabilities and connectivity of these systems, additional controls are needed ,” Dowden said.

The British directive applies to cameras made by companies subject to Chinese security law and provides guidance to departments to remove such devices from mainstream computer networks and consider removing them entirely.

A few months ago, dozens of lawmakers called for a ban on the sale and use of security cameras made by Hikvision and Dahua , two partially state-owned Chinese firms, over privacy concerns and concerns that the companies’ products are linked to human rights violations in China.

The Chinese government has a controlling stake in Hikvision, the world’s largest provider of video surveillance solutions, and the company itself was on the US sanctions list due to a potential threat to national security and direct participation in building a tracking system for national and ethnic minorities in China

Hikvision denied these claims in a statement to Reuters, saying the company will continue to seek to work with British authorities to get its point across.

” Hikvision cannot transfer data from end users to third parties, we do not manage end user databases or sell cloud storage in the UK ,” a spokesperson for the company said.

In July, privacy advocacy group Big Brother Watch claimed that most UK government agencies use Hikvision or Dahua surveillance cameras. A number of government departments, including the ministries of the interior and business, have used Hikvision cameras on building facades.

In a statement, Dowden notes that following a government review, departments have been instructed to stop using such equipment.

Source : ZN UA