Hard to prove harm: Google wins lawsuit over facial recognition

As new privacy laws attempt to address the different ways that companies collect, store and use biometric data, it’s also important to keep an eye on how the courts are interpreting and applying legislation. In a recent court case, a federal judge ruled against a claim that Google had violated Illinois privacy laws by using … Continue reading “Hard to prove harm: Google wins lawsuit over facial recognition”

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  • Jan 5, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • News, Privacy, Security,

What happens to identity and privacy when every biometric can be faked?

Identity and privacy are closely bound up. Typically, you use proof of your identity to access your private information. Alongside traditional approaches like passwords and hardware tokens, biometrics are increasingly employed to authenticate people, notably with smartphones, many of which now come with fingerprint sensors and facial recognition built in as standard. As well as … Continue reading “What happens to identity and privacy when every biometric can be faked?”

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  • Dec 22, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

As facial recognition systems continue to spread, so do concerns about their deployment

Facial recognition is hardly new – Privacy News Online has been writing about the topic for years now. But it is becoming more and more the norm, as some recent news shows. For example, the following story from Rolling Stone: Taylor Swift fans mesmerized by rehearsal clips on a kiosk at her May 18th Rose … Continue reading “As facial recognition systems continue to spread, so do concerns about their deployment”

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  • Nov 24, 2018
  • Jayson Q.
  • General Privacy and Security, Online Activity, Tutorials,

Why a passcode is better than biometric access

TL/DR: Don’t use your fingerprintsor facial recognition as access passwords. Biometric access is not secure. Fingerprints or facial recognition as passwords are not legally protected. You can’t change your fingerprints or face but a password should always be changeable. More and more technology is being released with the addition of a biometric scanners; Apple’s iPhone feature biometric … Continue reading “Why a passcode is better than biometric access”

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  • Nov 10, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

AI-based lie detection system will screen travellers to EU for ‘biomarkers of deceit’

As the borders between nations have become increasingly sensitive from a political point of view, so the threats to privacy there have grown. Privacy News Online has already reported on the use of AI-based facial recognition systems as a way of tightening border controls. As software improves, and hardware becomes faster and cheaper, it’s likely … Continue reading “AI-based lie detection system will screen travellers to EU for ‘biomarkers of deceit’”

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  • Aug 11, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

US politicians discover personally the pitfalls of facial recognition: is it time to ban it completely?

For all the theoretical concerns about the limitations of facial recognition systems, there’s nothing like personal experience to hammer the point home. That was confirmed recently when the ACLU ran an interesting experiment using Amazon’s cloud-based Rekognition system, which Privacy News Online discussed a couple of months back: Using Rekognition, we built a face database … Continue reading “US politicians discover personally the pitfalls of facial recognition: is it time to ban it completely?”

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  • Jul 21, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Should Facial Recognition Technologies Be Regulated by the Government? Microsoft Says ‘Yes’

Facial recognition technology represents one of the most serious threats to privacy. That’s for two principal reasons. Perhaps the most important is that it is almost impossible to change our faces: serious plastic surgery apart, there are few effective techniques to disguise our bodily appearance. Masks may hide our features, but are too cumbersome – … Continue reading “Should Facial Recognition Technologies Be Regulated by the Government? Microsoft Says ‘Yes’”

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Dark Patterns: How Tech Companies Use Interface Design to Undermine Online Privacy

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force back in May. One reason many people know about the GDPR is because they were bombarded with emails asking them to accept updated privacy policies as a result. Another is that some companies have required people to agree to new terms and conditions when they … Continue reading “Dark Patterns: How Tech Companies Use Interface Design to Undermine Online Privacy”

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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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  • May 18, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

The growing threat to privacy from big data forensics and false positives

The cost of sequencing the DNA found in genomes has been decreasingly rapidly in recent years. Since 2008, it has been falling even faster than the well-known Moore’s Law for semiconductor prices, and today a human genome can be sequenced in its near-entirety for $1000 or less. Similarly, partial sequencing costs have dropped dramatically, allowing … Continue reading “The growing threat to privacy from big data forensics and false positives”

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