• Jul 6, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

The Next Frontier in Threats to your Privacy: Voice Recognition

Privacy News Online has been tracking the increasing use of facial recognition technologies for some time. Concerns about their wider deployment are growing. But the surveillance world does not stand still. While people focus their attention on facial recognition, a new form of tracking is being rolled out: voice recognition – detecting who is speaking, … Continue reading “The Next Frontier in Threats to your Privacy: Voice Recognition”

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  • May 28, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

In China’s footsteps: Amazon and US schools normalize automatic facial recognition and constant surveillance

Amazon has developed a powerful cloud-based facial recognition system called “Rekognition”, which has major implications for privacy. It is already being used by multiple US police forces to carry out surveillance and make arrests, the ACLU has learned. Amazon claims that Rekognition offers real-time face matching across tens of millions of individuals held in a … Continue reading “In China’s footsteps: Amazon and US schools normalize automatic facial recognition and constant surveillance”

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  • Nov 24, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

China’s censorship czar falls, as its “Police Cloud” tracking system rises across the country

We write quite a lot about China here on Privacy Online News. Sadly, that’s generally because China is in the vanguard when it comes to bad things happening to privacy. That’s confirmed by an important new “Freedom on the Net” report, which summarized the situation in China as follows: “China was the world’s worst abuser … Continue reading “China’s censorship czar falls, as its “Police Cloud” tracking system rises across the country”

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Indonesia threatens WhatsApp blockage as Afghanistan backs down from its threat

WhatsApp is really getting under the skin of the authorities in certain Asian and African countries. Just in the last couple days, there has been a move to block the service in Indonesia, and Afghan authorities have had to deny reports that they were planning to do the same. Last month it was China, and … Continue reading “Indonesia threatens WhatsApp blockage as Afghanistan backs down from its threat”

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  • Oct 31, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

DHS expanding national biometrics database to hold details on over 500 million people, including many US citizens

We’ve just written about China’s ambitious plans to add voiceprints to its existing national biometrics databases. Given the country’s long record of keeping a close watch on its citizens, it’s easy to see this as part of China’s surveillance exceptionalism – the common belief that it is “different”, and that its experiences don’t have much … Continue reading “DHS expanding national biometrics database to hold details on over 500 million people, including many US citizens”

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  • Oct 26, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

China is quietly building a national voiceprint database to allow automated speaker recognition

It’s hardly a secret that China conducts massive surveillance of all kinds, as Privacy News Online has reported many times. And yet it seems that the authorities there are still coming up with new ways to check on their 1.4 billion citizens. For example, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has just written a fascinating description of … Continue reading “China is quietly building a national voiceprint database to allow automated speaker recognition”

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  • Sep 15, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

The Chinese IT giant Huawei has big plans for the cloud in Western markets, with important implications for privacy

Some Chinese high-tech companies may be bigger than you think. The e-commerce giant Alibaba has a market capitalization of over $400 billion. The social media and gaming company Tencent is not far behind, and nearly a billion people use its WeChat messaging service. Baidu is the world’s second largest search engine, and is increasingly strong … Continue reading “The Chinese IT giant Huawei has big plans for the cloud in Western markets, with important implications for privacy”

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Apple removes VPN apps from the Chinese App Store on government orders

Today, Chinese iPhone users woke up to discover that censorship-defeating apps such as the Private Internet Access VPN app are no longer present in the Chinese Apple App store. The move comes after the Chinese government launched an inquiry into Apple’s App Store content back in April of 2017 – targeting several livestreaming sites. Recently, along … Continue reading “Apple removes VPN apps from the Chinese App Store on government orders”

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  • Jul 23, 2017
  • Caleb Chen
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

In Xinjiang, China, police have set up checkpoints to ensure that the government-mandated “Jingwang” spyware is installed

In Xinjiang, China, citizens are being forced to install a targeted surveillance mobile app called Jingwang. Additionally, the government has set up random checkpoints on the streets to check whether the spyware is properly installed on your smartphone. On July 10th, mobile phone users in the region received a notification letting them know that they … Continue reading “In Xinjiang, China, police have set up checkpoints to ensure that the government-mandated “Jingwang” spyware is installed”

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  • Jul 20, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, Privacy, Security,

Putting together the pieces of the Chinese VPN jigsaw puzzle

VPNs are indispensable tools for today’s Internet users, and nowhere more so than in China. The famous “Great Firewall of China” – the name given to the set of technologies used to enforce censorship of foreign sites – can be circumvented by VPNs, but not in a consistent way. Sometimes VPNs are blocked, sometimes they … Continue reading “Putting together the pieces of the Chinese VPN jigsaw puzzle”

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