BDS National Committee says AnyVision 'complicit in Israeli occupation'

The Israeli tech company is facing a potential commercial and academic boycott after BDS labeled them "complicit in the Israeli occupation and repression of Palestinians."

By IDAN ZONSHINE
September 1, 2019 16:53
1 minute read.
A computer with an automatic facial recognition system shows German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiz

A computer with an automatic facial recognition system shows German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, center right, as he visits the Suedkreuz train station in Berlin. (photo credit: REUTERS/MARKUS SCHREIBER/POOL)

The Palestinian BDS National Committee called for the boycott of Israeli facial recognition technology firm AnyVision on Friday, labeling the company as "complicit in the Israeli occupation and repression of Palestinians."

"AnyVision plays a direct role in Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, which includes Israel’s illegal wall and military checkpoints," the committee wrote in a statement.

"AnyVision also maintains cameras for the Israeli military deep inside the West Bank to spy on Palestinians and enable the Israeli military’s illegal targeting of civilians."

According to the IDF, the company is part of a program to upgrade military checkpoints in the West Bank through adding technology for new "identification and inspection stations."

The facial recognition company has offices in Tel Aviv, New York, Mexico, London, Belfast and Singapore. It was founded in 2015 and has quickly gained investments, contracts and joint ventures with the Israeli military, governments and companies internationally.

In August, Human Rights Watch called on Microsoft to review its investments in AnyVision, given the “human rights risk associated with the investment in a company that’s providing [facial recognition] technology to an occupying power.”

Spanish telecommunications transnational Telefónica and G4S also use AnyVision’s technology. The city of Nice, France, surveils citizens with AnyVision technology, and entry to the London stadium was surveilled by the company last summer. HPE, which supplies servers to Israel’s population control registry, uses AnyVision facial recognition technology in its servers.

In addition to calling for a commercial boycott, the committee has also called on academic institutions to refrain from collaborating with AnyVision and their facial recognition software, so as to not "provide scholarly legitimacy to grave violations of international law."


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