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

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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  • Aug 3, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • General Privacy News, Governments, Surveillance,

Facial recognition concerns go mainstream in the US, as cities and companies bring in bans

Recently, FaceApp was much in the headlines. It allows users to submit photos of faces and modify them in interesting ways – making peple look older, or younger, or changing their expression. It was undoubtedly a cool use of AI technology. But what was most interesting about the episode is how quickly people realized that … Continue reading “Facial recognition concerns go mainstream in the US, as cities and companies bring in bans”

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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
  • Cybersecurity, General Privacy News,

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
  • General Privacy News, Governments, Surveillance,

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 News, Guides,

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
  • General Privacy News, Governments,

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
  • General Privacy News, Governments,

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
  • General Privacy News, Governments, Surveillance,

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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  • Jul 14, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • General Privacy News, Surveillance,

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
  • Cybersecurity, General Privacy News, Governments, Surveillance,

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
  • General Privacy News, Governments,

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
  • Cybersecurity, General Privacy News, Governments, Surveillance,

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
  • General Privacy News, Governments, Surveillance,

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
  • General Privacy News, Governments, Social Media,

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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