This news story is so important and so frightening that I read it out loud on a youtube video because I didn’t want the New York Times’ paywall to prevent anyone from getting this information.
So here is what scares me about this. The New York Times had an article on October 2, 2019 titled U.S. Government Plans to Collect DNA From Detained Immigrants. The byline was Caitlin Dickerson. The outrage when this was announced was what you might expect.
In the meantime the gene sequencers China is using according to this article are made in the United States. The U.S. government has limits on what type of tech can be sold to foreign nations. The fact that this type of tech was allowed to be sold to China makes me think some very dark thoughts.
Like maybe the current administration plans to allow U.S. companies to assist China in combining DNA sequencing science with facial recognition science because, ultimately, the government wants to use that same tech here in the United States. I hope I am wrong.
Here are the first few paragraphs of the article.
Beijing’s pursuit of control over a Muslim ethnic group pushes the rules of science and raises questions about consent. In a dusty city in the Xinjiang region on China’s western frontier, the authorities are testing the rules of science.
With a million or more ethnic Uighurs and others from predominantly Muslim minority groups swept up in detentions across Xinjiang, officials in Tumxuk have gathered blood samples from hundreds of Uighurs — part of a mass DNA collection effort dogged by questions about consent and how the data will be used.
In Tumxuk, at least, there is a partial answer: Chinese scientists are trying to find a way to use a DNA sample to create an image of a person’s face.
Here is the link to the original article on the NYT website Dec 3, 2019 with bylines by Sui-Lee Wee & Paul Mozur: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/03/business/china-dna-uighurs-xinjiang.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage