• Jun 25, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Top suppliers halt sales of facial recognition technology to the police – how much of a win is that really?

As this blog has noted, police forces around the world have been pushing for the routine deployment of real-time facial recognition technologies. It’s an attractive option for politicians. It offers the hope that more criminals will be arrested and convicted, and for a price that is constantly falling. As a result, it’s hard to win … Continue reading “Top suppliers halt sales of facial recognition technology to the police – how much of a win is that really?”

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  • Mar 13, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Police forces around the world continue to push for routine – and real-time – facial recognition capabilities

Facial recognition crops up on this blog more than most technologies. That’s in part because the underlying AI is advancing rapidly, boosting the ability of low-cost systems to match faces to those in databases. The Clearview saga is a good example of this, where an unheard-of startup has put together what is claimed to be … Continue reading “Police forces around the world continue to push for routine – and real-time – facial recognition capabilities”

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  • Jan 31, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

What can we learn from the Clearview “end of privacy” story?

A couple of weeks ago, a story in the New York Times put facial recognition, and the serious problems it raises, firmly into the mainstream. It concerned the start-up Clearview AI, which, as the headline breathlessly informed us, “might end privacy as we know it.” The reason for this worrying description is not any breakthrough … Continue reading “What can we learn from the Clearview “end of privacy” story?”

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  • 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 18, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, Privacy, Security,

Smile as you buy your holiday goods in a store – you are probably being watched, tracked and analyzed

Amazon may have started out by selling books, but it is now getting heavily into the surveillance market. There are four main sectors where it is already working on solutions that pose risks to privacy. Three of them have been covered extensively in this blog before. They are: the home, with its Alexa devices; the … Continue reading “Smile as you buy your holiday goods in a store – you are probably being watched, tracked and analyzed”

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  • Jul 20, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, Privacy, Security,

Amazon’s collaborations with local police turn its Ring doorbell cameras into unofficial community surveillance systems

Amazon was founded almost exactly 25 years ago. Initially it sold books, and people saw it as an interesting early example of e-commerce, but probably assumed that it would remain a fairly small player in a relatively unexciting market. Nothing could be further from the truth. Amazon soon started selling goods in other sectors, and … Continue reading “Amazon’s collaborations with local police turn its Ring doorbell cameras into unofficial community surveillance systems”

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

AI-based predictive policing systems widely used in US and UK, despite concerns about privacy, and flaws in the approach

Back in 2017, Privacy News Online wrote about a massive police system being built in China that would allow “predictive policing” – the ability to spot criminals before they even commit a crime. As we warned then, China often turns out to provide an early glimpse of what will later happen in the West, and … Continue reading “AI-based predictive policing systems widely used in US and UK, despite concerns about privacy, and flaws in the approach”

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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 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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  • Aug 4, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, Net Neutrality, Networking, News, Privacy, Security,

Dedicated first responder network raises privacy, transparency and net neutrality issues

Providing first responders such as the police, fire services and paramedics with the best available technology makes sense. Lives can be saved and disasters averted if action is taken as promptly as possible, and key information shared widely among relevant personnel. But as previous posts on Privacy News Online have noted, the enhanced capabilities of … Continue reading “Dedicated first responder network raises privacy, transparency and net neutrality issues”

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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Sep 29, 2016
  • Caleb Chen
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Police routinely misuse state and federal databases to stalk romantic interests, business partners, family, and even each other

New research put out by the Associated Press (AP) has revealed systemic police misuse of access to confidential and private information. The AP sent FOIA requests to police departments across the United States to find out about police misuse of state and federal databases and released a report with the findings earlier this week. Police in jurisdictions across … Continue reading “Police routinely misuse state and federal databases to stalk romantic interests, business partners, family, and even each other”

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