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Tag Archives for " biometrics "

Blackstone to acquire Ancestry.com for $4.7 billion

Blackstone Group agreed to acquire genealogy provider Ancestry.com from private equity rivals for $4.7 billion, including debt, placing a big bet on family-tree chasing as well as personalized medicine.

Ancestry.com is the world’s largest provider of DNA services, allowing customers to trace their genealogy and identify genetic health risks with tests sent to their home.

Source: Blackstone to acquire Ancestry.com for $4.7 billion – Reuters

US Senate Bill Limits Corporate Use of Facial Recognition

On August 4, 2020, Senators Jeff Merkley (OR) and Bernie Sanders (VT) introduced the National Biometric Information Privacy Act of 2020.

The bill would require companies to obtain individuals’ consent before collecting biometric data. Specifically, the bill would prohibit private companies from collecting biometric data—including eye scans, voiceprints, faceprints and fingerprints—without individuals’ written consent, and from profiting off of biometric data.

Source: Senate Bill Limits Corporate Use of Facial Recognition

Clearview AI landed a new facial recognition contract with ICE

The controversial facial recognition software maker Clearview AI has a new contract with ICE, the most controversial U.S. government agency.

Clearview was already known to work with the branch of Homeland Security fiercely criticized for implementing the Trump administration’s harsh immigration policies. The new contract makes it clear that relationship is ongoing — and that Clearview isn’t just playing a bit part in tech’s lucrative scrum for federal contracts.

Source: Clearview AI landed a new facial recognition contract with ICE | TechCrunch

Clearview AI Mounts a First Amendment Defense

Clearview AI has hired Floyd Abrams, a top lawyer, to help fight claims that selling its data to law enforcement agencies violates privacy laws.

Clearview AI has scraped billions of photos from the internet, including from platforms like LinkedIn and Instagram, and sells access to the resulting database to law enforcement agencies.

The company also faces two lawsuits filed in state courts: one from Vermont’s attorney general and one from the American Civil Liberties Union in Illinois, where a statute forbids the corporate use of residents’ faceprints without explicit consent.

Source: Facial Recognition Start-Up Mounts a First Amendment Defense – The New York Times

Instagram Faces Lawsuit Over Illegal Harvesting Of Biometrics

Facebook is facing allegations it illegally harvests the biometric data of users, this time in a lawsuit that targets Instagram.

In the lawsuit, filed in state court in Redwood City, California, the company is accused of collecting, storing and profiting from the biometric data of more than 100 million Instagram users, without their knowledge or consent.

Source: Instagram Faces Lawsuit Over Illegal Harvesting Of Biometrics

Privacy advocates sound alarm as thousands of Chinese facial recognition cameras head for Belgrade

Hundreds of facial recognition cameras, supplied by Huawei, are currently deployed in Serbia’s capital Belgrade, and thousands more are on their way, as part of an initiative police officials have said will make the capital safer.

However, privacy advocates are sounding the alarm over what they claim are the far-reaching ramifications the use of the cameras could have on human rights and the privacy of citizens. They also point out that the way in which the Serbian Ministry of Interior has gone about deploying the cameras may not be lawful.

Source: Privacy advocates sound alarm as thousands of Chinese facial recognition cameras head for Belgrade – Emerging Europe | Intelligence, Community, News

Canada’s Supreme Court upholds Genetic Non-Discrimination Act

On July 10, Canada’s Supreme Court issued its Reference re Genetic Non‑Discrimination Act decision, surprising many by upholding the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act’s constitutionality in a 5–4 decision.

The GINA decision of the Supreme Court itself lends support to Canadian claims that privacy is important and fundamental to Canadian law and adds a significant “plus” on our privacy ledger.

Source: Canada’s Supreme Court upholds Genetic Non-Discrimination Act

São Paulo subway facial recognition system slammed over user data security and privacy

A new surveillance system is deemed “inefficient and dangerous” as it fails to protect the personal information of 4 million daily users, associations say.

The current legacy system includes an estate of non-integrated 2200 cameras that will be replaced by 5200 digital high-definition cameras controlled centrally. But the company responsible for the operation of São Paulo’s subway system has failed to demonstrate sufficient evidence that it is ensuring the protection of user privacy in the implementation of a new platform that will use facial recognition technology.

Source: São Paulo subway facial recognition system slammed over user data security and privacy | ZDNet

Bill to Ban Face Surveillance Introduced in US Congress

Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), along with Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) today introduced legislation to stop government use of biometric surveillance, including facial recognition tools.

The Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act prohibits the use of facial recognition and other biometric technologies by federal agencies, including Customs and Border Protection.

Source: Bill to Ban Face Surveillance Introduced in Congress

EU to pay 300 million EUR for face and fingerprint recognition

The European Union has awarded a major contract for a new fingerprint and face recognition system. A consortium consisting of the two French companies IDEMIA and Sopra Steria is to set up and subsequently manage a Shared Biometric Matching System (sBMS).

For this purpose, fingerprints and facial images from five databases will be stored in a single file. Completion is planned in two years, but in an earlier large-scale IT project of the EU, one of the partners was seven years behind schedule.

Source: Project Interoperability: EU to pay 300 million EUR for face and fingerprint recognition – Matthias Monroy

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