IDF deploys facial recognition in Gaza for enhanced surveillance in counterterrorism operations.


Israeli security officials disclosed to The New York Times the utilization of facial recognition technology in Gaza by IDF intelligence units, including the cyber-intelligence division Unit 8200, aimed at locating hostages and members of terrorist organizations.

Initially deployed to search for Israeli hostages abducted by Hamas during the October 7 massacre, the technology gained traction during Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza to identify individuals with ties to Hamas or other terrorist groups.

Concerned about what they perceived as a misallocation of Israel’s time and resources, three security officials anonymously shared details of the program with The New York Times.

The facial recognition program leverages technology from Corsight, an Israeli private company, and incorporates Google Photos. The IDF uploads a database of known individuals to Google Photos, utilizing its photo search feature for identification purposes. Corsight’s technology enables intelligence personnel to identify faces from crowds and enhance recognition in grainy drone footage, albeit with less than 50% of a face visible, according to Corsight’s website.

The technology’s capabilities extend to extreme angles, darkness, and poor quality imagery, as stated by Corsight’s president on LinkedIn, as reported by The New York Times.


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