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Facial Recognition to Check Pedestrians at Texas Border Crossing

U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Texas announced that it will begin monitoring pedestrian traffic through the Brownsville Port of Entry with biometric technology. Critics say the technology has flaws and violates privacy rights.

The technology seeks to compare the image to passport and ID photos already stored in government records, according to the agency. It stated in a press release that it “has used biometric facial comparison to interdict more than 250 imposters who attempted to cross the Southwest Border using another person’s travel document” since Sept. 2018.

Source: Facial Recognition to Check Pedestrians at Border Crossing

Italian police can now use drones to monitor people’s movements

Italy has said police may use drones to monitor movement in order to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

The National Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) authorized the use of drones to monitor the movements of citizens in municipal areas to ensure the containment of the epidemiological emergency, ENAC said Monday in a letter published on its official website.

Source: March 24 coronavirus news – CNN

Apps Checking Covid-19 Symptoms Pose Data Collection Risks

Insurers and health tech companies developing mobile apps to let patients track Covid-19 symptoms and connect with doctors need to be mindful that their data storage practices don’t run afoul of federal and state privacy laws, attorneys said.

Developers of mobile apps and websites aimed at fighting the virus still have to navigate state privacy laws and a host of other regulations, like those from the Federal Trade Commission.

Source: Apps Checking Covid-19 Symptoms Pose Data Collection Risks

Over 172 Million Weibo Users’ Personal Data Is For Sale on Dark Web

Personal data of over 172 million users of Chinese social media platform Weibo is for sale on dark web and it’s priced in Bitcoin.

The account information for sale included user ID, number of Weibo posts, number of fans and followers, gender and geographical location.

Source: Over 172 Million Weibo Users’ Personal Data Is For Sale on Dark Web

Speech recognition algorithms may also have racial bias

As it turns out, algorithms that are trained on data that’s already subject to human biases can readily recapitulate them, as we’ve seen in places like the banking and judicial systems. Other algorithms have just turned out to be not especially good.

Now, researchers at Stanford have identified another area with potential issues: the speech-recognition algorithms that do everything from basic transcription to letting our phones fulfill our requests. These algorithms seem to have more issues with the speech patterns used by African Americans, although there’s a chance that geography plays a part, too.

Source: Speech recognition algorithms may also have racial bias | Ars Technica

Brussels Court of Appeal overrules first DPA fine to a private company

On Feb. 19, the Brussels Court of Appeal overruled one of the first decisions of the Belgian Data Protection Authority in a case involving the use of an electronic ID to get a loyalty card.

The Brussels Court of Appeal held that the customer did not give her identity card and, consequently, there was no processing of her data. Therefore, according to the court, the DPA did not demonstrate an actual personal data breach.

The court still underlined there was no prejudice for a customer because they could not get a loyalty card and therefore get a discount. There is no prejudice when one possible extra benefit is lost. It would have been different if the reading of the electronic ID was required to exercise a legal or contractual right.

Source: Brussels Court of Appeal overrules first DPA fine to a private company

EDPS Publishes Annual Report 2019

The Annual Report provides an insight into all European Data Protection Superviser’s (EDPS) activities in 2019.

EDPS activities therefore focused on consolidating the achievements of previous years, assessing the progress made and starting to define priorities for the future. Of particular note were EDPS efforts to ensure that new EU rules on data protection are put into practice.

Source: EDPS Annual Report 2019: new EU data protection rules must produce promised result | European Data Protection Supervisor

EU Commission puts emphasis on encryption

The European Commission has begun taking more decisive steps toward secure, encrypted communications. But while all of these steps may be positive, not all of them are identical.

The EU has a patchy history when it comes to data leaks, so it comes as no surprise that it is attempting to enhance its level of cybersecurity. The use of Signal has mainly been adopted for normal communication outside of critical or sensitive exchanges, suggesting the EU is taking cybersecurity seriously across even the less vulnerable channels.

Full article: The story behind the Commission’s new emphasis on encryption – EURACTIV.com

Unidentified Database Exposes 200 Million Americans

The CyberNews research team uncovered an unsecured database owned by an unidentified party, comprising 800 gigabytes of personal user information.

The database in question was left on a publicly accessible server and contained more than 200 million detailed user records, putting an astonishing number of people at risk.

Source: Unidentified Database Exposes 200 Million Americans | CyberNews

Putin’s Secret Intelligence Agency Hacked: Dangerous New ‘Cyber Weapons’ Now Exposed

The successor agency to Russia’s KGB has been hacked again—and the exposed tools represent a threat to us all.

This one has exposed “a new weapon ordered by the security service,” one that can be used to execute cyber attacks on IoT devices. The goal of the so-called “Fronton Program” is to exploit IoT security vulnerabilities en masse—remember, these technologies are fundamentally less secure than other connected devices in homes and offices.

Source: Putin’s Secret Intelligence Agency Hacked: Dangerous New ‘Cyber Weapons’ Now Exposed

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