• 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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  • 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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  • Aug 18, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Leak of proposed US law reveals plans for widespread use of multiple surveillance technologies at borders

Here on Privacy News Online, we often write about the impact on privacy of technologies such as facial recognition, iris scans, DNA databases, and drones. Individually, those powerful and rapidly-advancing technologies all pose different challenges to the protection of our privacy. Imagine how dangerous it would be if they were brought together in a complete, … Continue reading “Leak of proposed US law reveals plans for widespread use of multiple surveillance technologies at borders”

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  • Aug 10, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, Privacy,

Putting the “face” in Facebook: how Mark Zuckerberg is building a world without public anonymity

Facial recognition has matured sufficiently that it is cropping up in real-world applications with increasing frequency, as recent Privacy News Online stories attest. There’s one well-known company that is more active in this area than most, not least because it has access to more facial images than any other. It even has the word “face” … Continue reading “Putting the “face” in Facebook: how Mark Zuckerberg is building a world without public anonymity”

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  • Jul 3, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Our surveillance future: pervasive, continuous facial recognition from wandering robo-cars and hovering drones

Last month, Privacy News Online wrote about the first arrest by UK police using an automatic facial recognition system mounted on a vehicle to scan people in a crowd. But things move quickly in the world of surveillance technologies: the police in Dubai have announced that they will be deploying facial recognition systems mounted on … Continue reading “Our surveillance future: pervasive, continuous facial recognition from wandering robo-cars and hovering drones”

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  • Jun 9, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

UK police arrest man picked out from the crowd in real time by automatic facial recognition system

An automatic facial scanning system has been used in Wales to spot a man wanted by the UK police, who was then arrested. Believed to be the first of its kind in the country, the arrest follows an earlier announcement by the South Wales police force that that it would be introducing NEC’s NeoFace Watch … Continue reading “UK police arrest man picked out from the crowd in real time by automatic facial recognition system”

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