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Skripal Case Shows the Limits of Surveillance

The U.K.’s ubiquitous surveillance cameras have clearly played an important role in the attribution of the attempted poisoning of an ex-spy in Salisbury in March to the Russian military intelligence. Thanks to the cameras, the two Russian suspects’ movements were tracked exhaustively. But this seeming success also lays bare the biggest problem with universal surveillance: If everyone is tracked, no one is, so the cameras can only perform their function so late after the fact that even those criminals who are identified are less likely to be apprehended.

Full article: Skripal Case Shows the Limits of Surveillance – Bloomberg

Consumers bear the cost of their privacy protection

The latest round of regulations placed on corporations to protect privacy will not protect us from the harm caused by government surveillance. This should concern us all, since government intelligence agencies are the major players infringing upon our privacy.

Governments acquire the majority of their surveillance data from corporations because that is where most of the personal data resides. We must change this paradigm, of governments accessing corporations’ data, to one in which individuals securely store their own data. This is where artificial intelligence comes in.

Full article: Consumers bear the cost of their privacy protection – The Globe and Mail

China is building a digital dictatorship to exert control over its citizens

What may sound like a dystopian vision of the future is already happening in China. And it’s making and breaking lives. The Communist Party calls it “social credit” and says it will be fully operational by 2020. Within years, an official Party outline claims, it will “allow the trustworthy to roam freely under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step”.

Full article: Leave no dark corner – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

10 ways China watches its citizens

From tracking the activity of mobile app users to setting up a social credit scorecard, the world’s most populated country is taking surveillance technology to new heights. With a population of 1.3 billion, China’s plan to create a facial recognition system that can identify people within three seconds – with a 90 per cent accuracy rate – may seem ambitious, but that does not stop it from trying.

Read full article: Drones, facial recognition and a social credit system: 10 ways China watches its citizens | South China Morning Post

Facial recognition system to be used in 2020 Tokyo Olympics

A facial recognition system will be used across an Olympics for the first time as Tokyo organizers work to keep security tight and efficient at dozens of venues during the 2020 Games. The NeoFace technology developed by NEC Corp. will be customized to monitor every accredited person – including athletes, officials, staff and media – at more than 40 venues, games villages and media centres.

Source: Facial recognition system set to be used in Olympic security | CTV News

Nice is building “safe city”, rising privacy concerns

After terrorist attack of July 14, 2016, French city of Nice has turned itself into a testing ground for surveillance technology. Growing opposition to cutting-edge security highlights how the use of systems like facial recognition and artificial intelligence to fight crime is on a collision course with advocates of data privacy.

Read full article: Two Years Ago Terror Struck. Now They’re Unsure of the Response – Bloomberg

Walmart’s Newly Patented Technology For Eavesdropping On Workers Presents Privacy Concerns

Walmart just won a patent for audio surveillance technology that measures workers’ performance, and could even listen to their conversations with customers at checkout. While there’s no guarantee that Walmart will ever build this technology, the patent shows the company is thinking about using tech not just to facilitate deliveries or make its warehouses more efficient, but also to manage its workforce, which is the largest in the United States.

Source: Walmart’s Newly Patented Technology For Eavesdropping On Workers Presents Privacy Concerns

How Fracking Companies Use Facebook Surveillance to Ban Protest

Oil and gas companies are discrediting activists using social media to justify banning their protests. Three companies are currently seeking injunctions against protesters: British chemical giant INEOS, which has the largest number of shale gas drilling licenses in the UK; and small UK outfits UK Oil and Gas (UKOG), and Europa Oil and Gas. Among the thousands of pages of documents submitted to British courts by these companies are hundreds of Facebook and Twitter posts from anti-fracking protesters and campaign groups.

Source: How Fracking Companies Use Facebook Surveillance to Ban Protest – Motherboard

China’s Dystopian Dreams: A.I., Shame and Lots of Cameras

With millions of cameras and billions of lines of code, China is building a high-tech authoritarian future. Beijing is embracing technologies like facial recognition and artificial intelligence to identify and track 1.4 billion people. It wants to assemble a vast and unprecedented national surveillance system, with crucial help from its thriving technology industry.

China is reversing the commonly held vision of technology as a great democratizer, bringing people more freedom and connecting them to the world. In China, it has brought control.

Source: Inside China’s Dystopian Dreams: A.I., Shame and Lots of Cameras – The New York Times

Smart technology sees through walls to track and identify people

A group of researchers and students at MIT have developed an intelligent radar-like technology that makes it possible to see through walls to track people as they move around. This technology, known as RF-Pose, can reveal whether someone is walking, sitting, standing or even waving — and can identify individuals from a known group with a success rate of 83 percent. RF-Pose can be useful for monitoring the elderly or sick as well as for other applications — but that also raises privacy concerns.

Source: Smart technology sees through walls to track and identify people

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