• Jan 17, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, Privacy,

Police forces around the world continue to deploy facial recognition systems, despite no evidence of their utility

Last month, this blog wrote about governments around the world continuing to trial facial recognition systems, and the growing concerns this is provoking. There’s one area in particular where facial recognition systems are deployed: law enforcement. That’s hardly a surprise, since the legal system can only operate if it identifies alleged criminals that need to … Continue reading “Police forces around the world continue to deploy facial recognition systems, despite no evidence of their utility”

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  • Dec 27, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

What do you get if you put DNA and facial recognition together? Today, it’s China; tomorrow, maybe everywhere else

Two themes crop up again and again on this blog: facial recognition and DNA sequencing. Both technologies on their own are powerful, and steadily becoming greater threats to privacy. So what happens when they are put together? A story in the New York Times means we don’t have to guess, because China is already doing … Continue reading “What do you get if you put DNA and facial recognition together? Today, it’s China; tomorrow, maybe everywhere else”

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  • Dec 5, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Roll-out of facial recognition by governments around the world accelerates as privacy experts sound the alarm

A year ago, this blog wrote about the spread of facial recognition systems, and the danger they represent to privacy. Since then, the roll-out has accelerated, as the technology becomes more accurate, and the products on offer become cheaper. Governments in particular see facial recognition as an easy way to check and control their populations. … Continue reading “Roll-out of facial recognition by governments around the world accelerates as privacy experts sound the alarm”

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  • Oct 17, 2019
  • Caleb Chen
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Why Hong Kong protesters don’t just want privacy from China, they need it to survive

Hong Kong protesters are so adamant about covering their face and using the latest privacy apps on their smartphones because they understand what is at stake. China will never understand Hong Kong’s desire for freedom. At the government level, maybe some Chinese politicians are aware that what they’re selling the Chinese populace (both within Mainland … Continue reading “Why Hong Kong protesters don’t just want privacy from China, they need it to survive”

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  • Oct 14, 2019
  • Caleb Chen
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

Starting December 1st, China’s new MLPS 2.0 cybersecurity laws will require submission of a facial scan to receive internet access

China’s new MLPS (Multi-level Protection of Information Security) 2.0 cybersecurity laws goes into full effect on December 1st, 2019 and will see all internet service providers (ISPs) and mobile data providers requiring facial scans to sign up for new service.  This means every new mobile phone number assigned in China will be associated with a … Continue reading “Starting December 1st, China’s new MLPS 2.0 cybersecurity laws will require submission of a facial scan to receive internet access”

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  • Oct 11, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

The Hong Kong protests reveal how our faces are becoming a key battleground for privacy and freedom

The protests in Hong Kong are much in the news. But for readers of this blog, there’s a particular reason why they are of interest. Mainland China is well known for its advanced and pervasive surveillance systems, and Hong Kong naturally shares many of its approaches. Protesting in the region therefore requires new skills in … Continue reading “The Hong Kong protests reveal how our faces are becoming a key battleground for privacy and freedom”

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  • Aug 20, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

The future of privacy is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed

William Gibson is best known for his book “Neuromancer“, which popularized the word and concept of cyberspace. He also came up with the phrase “the future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed“. That was a general statement about technology, but it also applies to the technology that threatens our privacy. Around … Continue reading “The future of privacy is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed”

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  • Aug 14, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Arsenic in the water of democracy: UK police, politicians and privacy activists clash over facial recognition deployments

Last week’s post looked at the increasing number of moves to rein in, or even ban, the use of facial recognition technologies in the US. Another country at the forefront of exploring the legal, social and ethical issues raised by the technology is the UK. Problems with the use of facial recognition technologies by the … Continue reading “Arsenic in the water of democracy: UK police, politicians and privacy activists clash over facial recognition deployments”

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Art can change the world

Illustration by Carty Sewill Art can change the world. Warhol showed us all the beauty in our everyday; from Coke bottles to Campbell’s soup cans. Social change is led by those brave enough to see the world differently. Such vision is rarely rewarded and is often seen as a threat to the status quo. Like … Continue reading “Art can change the world”

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  • Apr 13, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, Privacy, Security,

China’s AI-based prisons – both indoors and outdoors – offer a warning of how privacy may die elsewhere

Online freedom of speech is under attack around the world. The EU’s new Copyright Directive is about to become law, and brings with it a need to filter all uploads to most sites. Once filters are in place, it will be easy to use them for blocking things other than alleged copyright infringement. Australia has … Continue reading “China’s AI-based prisons – both indoors and outdoors – offer a warning of how privacy may die elsewhere”

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Taiwan says no to Chinese influence by blocking Tencent and Baidu’s censored video streaming platforms

Taiwan will block Baidu and Tencent from running video streaming services on the island. This past week, Chiu Chui-Cheng, deputy minister of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, told the Nikkei Asian Review that Taiwan is currently making moves to ban Baidu and Tencent services in the country. Baidu operates a video streaming service accessible in Taiwan … Continue reading “Taiwan says no to Chinese influence by blocking Tencent and Baidu’s censored video streaming platforms”

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  • Jan 26, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • News, Privacy, Security,

How much privacy should children have from their own parents?

Back in August last year, Danica Sergison gave good advice here on Privacy News Online about how to help children think critically about privacy. That’s crucial, since the world they will inhabit as adults will be pervasively digital, which means that privacy choices will be key issues for all of their lives. The blog post … Continue reading “How much privacy should children have from their own parents?”

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  • Nov 24, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

Welcome to the burgeoning, globalized business of implementing government surveillance

That fact that massive surveillance is taking place around the world is hardly a secret, not least since Edward Snowden revealed the extraordinary scale and reach of Western spying. But what is less obvious is how globalized the business of surveillance has become. Snowden explained how important the Five Eyes partnership of the US, UK, … Continue reading “Welcome to the burgeoning, globalized business of implementing government surveillance”

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  • Nov 1, 2018
  • Caleb Chen
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Starting November 1st, Chinese police can go to any Chinese ISP to copy your data

Earlier in October 2018, the Chinese government passed a law that grants local and central law enforcement the ability to enter the premises of any internet service providers (ISPs) or internet service companies (read: VPN companies) to inspect and copy anything. SCMP reports that this new law tightens China’s control of its cyberspace, which already … Continue reading “Starting November 1st, Chinese police can go to any Chinese ISP to copy your data”

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Google is expanding back into China. What does that mean for freedom of information?

Google will expand into China and launch a new search engine compliant with the Chinese government’s strict censorship rules, according to a recent report by The Intercept’s Ryan Gallagher. Versions of the app have been called “Maotai” and “Longfei,” and could launch in as soon as six months — once the Chinese government approves the … Continue reading “Google is expanding back into China. What does that mean for freedom of information?”

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