The U.S. Commerce Department would place Hikvision on an “entity list,” which requires American companies to get government approval before they conduct businesses with any foreign company listed. These limits would effectively place the company on a United States blacklist for potentially posing a threat to national security and privacy.
Hikvision products enable their clients to track anyone around the country by using technology that can analyze their facial features, body characteristics or gait. The emergence of new technology like artificial intelligence, speech monitoring and genetic testing is making monitoring networks, like the ones used by Hikvision, increasingly effective. The latest technology can also be used to monitor activity considered unusual by officials, such as people running or crowds gathering. Though useful for government officials to monitor its citizens, such technology can easily provide opportunities for these products to be intrusive on their customers’ privacy. Because of the economic, technological and geopolitical threat this could pose, the U.S. government is cracking down on technology companies like Hikvision and Huawei.