Alibaba says it won't allow its tech to target, identify ethnic groups

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Alibaba Group is seen during Alibaba Group's 11.11 Singles' Day global shopping festival at a media center in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, November 10, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

(Reuters) - Alibaba Group said it will not allow its technology to be used for targeting and identifying specific ethnic groups, following a report that its facial recognition technology can pick out Uighur minorities.

Alibaba, in a statement, said it was “dismayed” that Alibaba Cloud developed facial recognition technology that includes ethnicity as an attribute for tagging video imagery and that the firm never intended the technology to be used in this manner.

“We have eliminated any ethnic tag in our product offering,” Alibaba said.

Reporting by Brenda Goh and Se Young Lee; Editing by Tom Hogue