Incident 659: Mass Surveillance Facial Recognition Program Reportedly Targets Palestinians in Gaza

Description: In Gaza, a previously undisclosed facial recognition program by Israeli forces is reportedly conducting mass surveillance on Palestinians in the wake of the October 7th Hamas attacks. The program, utilizing Corsight and Google Photos technologies, identifies individuals from crowds and drone footage. Allegedly, the technology often incorrectly flags civilians as militants, with one pronounced case being the poet Mosab Abu Toha on November 19, 2023.


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Alleged: Google Photos and Corsight developed an AI system deployed by Unit 8200 , Israeli military intelligence and Israeli government, which harmed Palestinians , Mosab Abu Toha and Gazans.

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Daniel Atherton

Incident Reports

Israel Deploys Expansive Facial Recognition Program in Gaza · 2024

Within minutes of walking through an Israeli military checkpoint along Gaza's central highway on Nov. 19, the Palestinian poet Mosab Abu Toha was asked to step out of the crowd. He put down his 3-year-old son, whom he was carrying, and sat …

Israel deploys extensive facial recognition in Gaza to locate terrorists · 2024

Israel is deploying advanced facial recognition technology in Gaza to locate terror suspects, three Israeli intelligence officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed to The New York Times on Wednesday.

According to the repor…

Israel quietly rolled out a mass facial recognition program in the Gaza Strip · 2024

Israel has deployed a mass facial recognition program in the Gaza Strip, creating a database of Palestinians without their knowledge or consent, The New York Times reports. The program, which was created after the October 7th attacks, uses …


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.