A U.S.-based group of IPVM researchers has accused Chinese firm Hikvision of developing technology to identify Muslim students fasting during Ramadan by analyzing their eating habits. Hikvision acknowledged that it had been contracted to develop the “Smart Campus” project for Minjiang University, but denied allegations of using its technology to detect ethnic minorities.

This is reported by Media Security.

Under the $9 million contract, the company had to create a system capable of collecting detailed information about students, including their daily habits and political views. In the documentation to the contract, it was also stated that it was possible to identify students who observe religious fasting.

China has long been criticized for violating the rights of Muslim minorities. Such actions by local authorities can worsen the situation for Muslim students, especially in regions where, as in Xinjiang, civil servants, students and teachers are prohibited from fasting.

Hikvision has previously been accused of developing technology to identify Uyghurs, a Muslim group in China. The company confirmed this, but said the feature was disabled in 2018.