Chinese security cameras made by a company banned in the United States have been removed from air force bases in Australia, but not from other public facilities.
CCTV technology by Chinese surveillance giant Hikvision have been marked as a potential security threat by federal Australian agencies.
The Chinese-made cameras have been removed from RAAF bases and from hospitals and nursing homes in South Australia.
But New South Wales authorities have no plans to stop using the company’s devices, and Victoria and Queensland refuse to say whether their facilities have Hikvision cameras
The cameras were placed in the rooms of aged care resident in SA for safety reasons.
But a spokesman from the SA government told Daily Mail Australia they abandoned the partnership with Hikvision due to ‘security and technical issues’.
‘The welfare, security and privacy of vulnerable South Australians are our top priorities and the Government would never put that at risk.’
It vowed to remove the partly state-owned cameras from public hospitals.
NSW Heath refused to follow suit despite the warnings.
A NSW Health spokesman admitted Hikvision technology was in use but said it is ‘not aware of any direction from relevant oversight agencies to remove the products at this stage’.
The Australian Defence Force got rid of two Hikvision surveillance systems in 2018.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Queensland and Victorian governments wouldn’t say whether they’re using the controversial cameras.
Hikvision is controlled by the Chinese government and is one of the leaders in the market for surveillance technology, with cameras that can produce sharp, full-color images in fog and near-total darkness.
The company has faced long-standing spying accusations and has been banned in the U.S along with another company Dahua amid fears a ‘surveillance network’ was being created.
Deputy head of the International Cyber Policy Centre at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute Danielle Cave told the publication businesses should be cautious when choosing surveillance systems.
‘One of the challenges of working with Chinese companies like Hikvision and Dahua is that these companies are not independent from the Chinese state,’ she said.
‘Hikvision’s controlling shareholder, for example, is a Chinese government-owned military conglomerate and both companies have internal communist party branches, so these are not private and independent companies.’