How Beijing’s surveillance cameras crept into widespread use across UK schools, hospitals and government buildings
In the confines of his small cell, Ovalbek Turdakun was watched 24/7. At any attempt to speak to others he was instantly told to be quiet, while lights in the room were on round the clock, making it impossible to know what time of day it was.
Turdakun and his fellow detainees in the Xinjiang camp were not watched by guards, but by software. Cameras made by the Chinese company Hikvision monitored his every move, according to an account he gave to US surveillance website IPVM.
More than a million of the same company’s cameras are in Britain’s schools, hospitals and police departments. Tesco, Costa Coffee and McDonald’s have purchased Hikvision cameras. They are present in a string of Government buildings.
Britain’s population is caught on CCTV more than any nation outside of China, with 6m cameras in use – one for every 11 people. Hikvision is the biggest provider of them.