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>> What if you could spot crime before it even happens? Human Rights Watch says China's government thinks it already can. Authorities in the western region of Xinjiang are using predictive software to detain suspects who they say are flagged for unusual behavior. Reuters' Christian Shepherd has been piecing together how it all works.
>> The integrated joint operations platform is a system used by the police in Xinjiang to predict potential criminals. And it will bring together various data sets, everything from CCTV camera footage, wifi connection data, health records, legal records, banking records. It will crunch all these data sets together, and it will predict a list of potential suspects that the police then have to go and speak to, and then potentially detain.
>> After being detained, some people have been sent to so-called political education centers as part of the larger security campaign in the region. Similar programs are being rolled out across China and human rights activists say, it's a blatant violation of privacy rights. They also claim it enables officials to arbitrarily detain people, specifically minority groups.
>> The algorithms used by the system are not very clear. So it's hard to say exactly who's being targeted. The Human Rights Watch found that some of the inputs that are given to the system will specifically look at religious practices. And they seem to be therefore potentially targeting the Muslim legal minority in the region.
>> Chinese media say the list of people of interest that the program generates are meant to be acted on by police within a day. Official reports say it's helped police catch petty thieves as well as Uyghur officials who are disloyal to the ruling Communist party.