Tesco, Morrisons and M&S ban Chinese CCTV cameras over national security and privacy concerns
A number of UK supermarkets have banned Chinese CCTV cameras over national security and privacy concerns.
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Tesco, Morrisons and M&S have stopped purchasing Chinese-made CCTV cameras amid privacy fears and concerns of the companies’ products being linked to human rights abuses in China. According to The Telegraph, the supermarkets have removed equipment supplied by Hikvision and Dahua over their alleged involvement in the suppression of the Uyghur Muslim minority residing in north-west China.
Marks & Spencer said it did not have any Hikvision cameras in any of its stores as part of its policy to ensure its supply chains were “sustainable and ethical and that human rights are respected”. Hikvision has been banned from supplying its technology in the US after being judged an unacceptable risk to national security. Under Chinese law, companies must “support, assist and co-operate” with state intelligence work.
The supermarkets revealed their decision was made in response to pressure from campaign groups led by Big Brother Watch. Hikvision and Dahua provide technology “that facilitates the persecution and oppression of ethnic and religious groups in the Uyghur region, Tibet and Hong Kong and have no place in the UK”, they told The Telegraph.
Morrisons said it was “committed to the protection and advancement of human rights in our supply chain and we take this issue very seriously”. Tesco said it had taken immediate action to identify alternative suppliers as soon as it became aware of alleged “human rights abuses” involving the firms.
Big Brother Watch legal and policy officer Madeleine Stone said: “Hikvision and Dahua are closely linked to grave human rights abuses across China and their AI-powered CCTV poses a risk to the privacy and security of the British public.
“As British retailers are starting to strip out these rights-abusing surveillance companies from the high street, the Government is trailing behind by refusing to take action. Hikvision and Dahua have no place in the UK.”