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Tag Archives for " biometrics "

Why facial recognition thermometers are raising privacy concerns during the pandemic?

Thermal imaging thermometers with facial recognition are popping up during the pandemic. But, privacy concerns have been raised.

The new technology looks like a tablet connected to a stand that scans a person’s temperature from the shoulders up. But, some devices—like ones that were used in schools, according to Wired—also come with facial recognition technology. The facial recognition feature in the temperature checkers are also being used by employers.

Given the privacy concerns that have been raised with facial recognition technology as a whole, experts have raised alarms about its use during the coronavirus pandemic.

Full article: What are Facial Recognition Thermometers and Who’s Using Them?

DHS Plans to Start Collecting Eye Scans and DNA

US Department of Homeland Security is planning to collect unprecedented levels of biometric information from immigration applicants and their sponsors — including U.S. citizens.

While some types of applicants have long been required to submit photographs and fingerprints, a rule currently under consideration would require practically everyone applying for any kind of status, or detained by immigration enforcement agents, to provide iris scans, voiceprints and palmprints, and, in some cases, DNA samples. A tangled web of defense and surveillance contractors, which operate with little public oversight, have already begun to build the infrastructure that would be needed to store these records.

Source: DHS Plans to Start Collecting Eye Scans and DNA

Forensic Genealogy Cracks Cold Cases Amid Privacy Concerns

Millions of people will unwrap at-home ancestry testing kits this holiday season and eagerly swab their cheeks and mail in the saliva, hoping their DNA will unlock clues about their heritage or reveal long-lost relatives.

The tests, which can cost as little as $59, offer entertainment and a chance to uncover family secrets. But with law enforcement increasingly mining the DNA databases to solve cold cases, as in the arrest last week of a Lehigh County man suspected in the 1969 murder of a San Diego woman, experts say consumers should think about their privacy when they hand over their DNA.

Source: Forensic Genealogy Cracks Cold Cases Amid Privacy Concerns | Pennsylvania News | US News

Police Are Tapping Into Ring Cameras to Expand Surveillance Network In Mississippi

The police department in Jackson, Mississippi is partnering with two companies to stream surveillance footage from Ring cameras in a 45-day pilot program.

This may come as a surprise to those who remember that just a few months ago, Jackson was the first city in the South to ban police from using facial recognition technology. Amazon’s Ring subsidiary has made numerous successful inroads with police across the U.S., however, and police are continuing to warm up to the technology.

Source: Police Are Tapping Into Ring Cameras to Expand Surveillance Network In Mississippi

Illinois judge kicks Clearview AI lawsuit back to state court at plaintiffs’ request

A biometric privacy lawsuit against Clearview AI Inc is headed back to state court, where it was originally filed, after a federal judge rejected the company’s argument that the case should stay in federal court where other lawsuits against it are pending.

Clearview failed to establish standing as the plaintiffs didn’t allege they suffered an injury-in-fact. Instead, the plaintiffs seek only statutory damages for the alleged sale and profit of their biometric data and attorney’s fees.

Source: Illinois judge kicks Clearview AI lawsuit back to state court at plaintiffs’ request | Reuters

Hospitals And VA Clinics Use Facial Recognition And Palm Scanners To Track Patients

Massachusetts area hospitals and VA clinics have begun installing Xecan facial recognition cameras to identify and track patients.

According to Xecan, they have been providing ‘touchless clinic technology’ to hospitals and clinics for at least ten years. What makes Xecan so unique is using ‘immunocompromised cancer patients’ and COVID-19 together to justify using facial recognition in hospitals.

Source: Hospitals And VA Clinics Use ‘Xecan’ Facial Recognition And Palm Scanners To Track Patients | MassPrivateI

Activists Turn Facial Recognition Tools Against the Police

Mr. Howell is a lifelong protester and self-taught coder. He had begun researching how to build a facial recognition product that could defeat officers’ attempts to shield their identity.

Mr. Howell is not alone in his pursuit. Law enforcement has used facial recognition to identify criminals, using photos from government databases or, through a company called Clearview AI, from the public internet. But now activists around the world are turning the process around and developing tools that can unmask law enforcement in cases of misconduct.

Full article: Activists Turn Facial Recognition Tools Against the Police – The New York Times

Amazon Faces Allegations It Harvested Sensitive Voice Data

Amazon is being hit with a class-action suit alleging that the tech giant’s severs are storing biometric voice data from countless callers, in contravention of an Illinois privacy law.

The three plaintiffs behind the suit came into contact with Pindrop’s tech when they called the customer support line for John Hancock, a major life insurance provider, and were told that they were “no longer required” to use a PIN number to sign in, thanks to Pindrop’s ability to authenticate their calls based on sound alone.

Source: Amazon Faces Allegations It Harvested Sensitive Voice Data

Amazon introduces a way to pay with your palm

Amazon is introducing a new biometric device that will allow shoppers to pay at Amazon Go stores using their palm.

The company on Tuesday introduced its purportedly “contactless” Amazon One, a scanner of sorts where you’ll first insert your credit card, then hover your palm over the device to associate your palm signature with your payment mechanism. Once your card is on file, you’ll be able to enter the store in the future just by holding your palm above the Amazon One device for a second or so.

While you’re not actually supposed to press your palm down on the device itself, it’s a new technology that will require user education — and that could be a problem, at least in the short term.

Source: Amazon introduces the Amazon One, a way to pay with your palm when entering stores | TechCrunch

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

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