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Facial recognition smart glasses could make public surveillance discreet and ubiquitous

A new product from UAE firm NNTC shows where this tech is headed next. The AR glasses have an 8-megapixel camera embedded in the frame which allows the wearer to scan faces in a crowd and compare with a database of 1 million images.

Technology like this means law enforcement agencies can adopt facial recognition algorithms and use them in public spaces with less hassle and fewer distractions. That means it’s likely to be used more widely.

Source: Facial recognition smart glasses could make public surveillance discreet and ubiquitous – The Verge

AI used to identify thieves in Walmart

The American supermarket chain, Walmart has said that it uses AI recognition technology on its checkouts to help root out shoplifters.

The AI cameras are capable of spotting when items have been placed inside a shopping bag without having been scanned either by a cashier or through the self-service scan mechanism.

Source: AI used to identify thieves in Walmart, USA

Irish DPA issues guidance on the Use of CCTV

Irelands data protection authority – Data Protection Commission – has issued a guidance on use of CCTVs and video surveillance.

This guidance is intended to assist owners and occupiers of premises, in particular those that are workplaces or are otherwise accessible to the public, to understand their responsibilities and obligations regarding data protection when using CCTV.

Access guidance: Guidance on the Use of CCTV – For Data Controllers • DPO.guide

What Hong Kong’s Protestors Can Teach Us About the Future of Privacy

Around the world, police and intelligence agencies are conducting secret, real-time surveillance of civic spaces—and not just during times of protest.

In addition to greatly expanding the depth and breadth of surveillance, new technologies are changing how it’s performed. Today, spying can be conducted remotely and invisibly.

Read full article: What Hong Kong’s Protestors Can Teach Us About the Future of Privacy

CNIL issues fine of 20,000 euros against a small company in France regardin videosurveillance

The French data protection authority, the CNIL, announced on 18th June 2019 that it has issued a 20,000 euros fine against Uniontrad Company, a small company (9 employees) based in France and specialized in translations, for “excessive videosurveillance”.

According to the CNIL, employees of the company had filed complaints with the CNIL between 2013 and 2017 over the filming. In February 2018, the CNIL conducted an investigation at the company’s offices and found that a camera was continuously recording the staff’s activities at their work station, without sufficient information being provided to the staff.

Source: Videosurveillance: CNIL issues fine of 20,000 euros against a small company in France

Big Tech condemn GCHQ proposal to listen in on encrypted chats

An international coalition of civic society organizations, security and policy experts and tech companies — including Apple, Google, Microsoft and WhatsApp — has penned a critical slap-down to a surveillance proposal made last year by the UK’s intelligence agency, warning it would undermine trust and security and threaten fundamental rights.

GCHQ’s idea for a so-called ‘ghost protocol’ would be for state intelligence or law enforcement agencies to be invisibly CC’d by service providers into encrypted communications — on what’s billed as targeted, government authorized basis.

If implemented, it will undermine the authentication process, introduce potential unintentional vulnerabilities, and increase risks that communications systems could be abused or misused. Users won’t be able to trust that their communications are secure, thereby posing threats to fundamental human rights, including privacy and free expression.

Source: Apple, Google, Microsoft, WhatsApp sign open letter condemning GCHQ proposal to listen in on encrypted chats | TechCrunch

Autonomous cars rise privacy questions

When fully autonomous vehicles begin circulating on public roads they will have to be able to detect when people enter or exit a vehicle, who the person is, whether they have left anything behind in the car, and especially if a person has become disabled (because of intoxication or a medical emergency).

And that information will inevitably be shared online, although there may be ways that some people can still preserve their sense of independence in the car.

“In the future, it may be different for people who own their own cars, where there’s more privacy,” said Mr. Wisselmann at BMW, “and for people who use robo taxis, where there will be less.”

Full article: Eyes on the Road! (Your Car Is Watching) – The New York Times

A New Age of Warfare: How Internet Mercenaries Do Battle for Authoritarian Governments

Sophisticated surveillance, once the domain of world powers, is increasingly available on the private market. Smaller countries are seizing on the tools — sometimes for darker purposes.

NSO, a private company based in Herzliya, Israel, has hired former government hackers to ply their trades for foreign governments.

Full article: A New Age of Warfare: How Internet Mercenaries Do Battle for Authoritarian Governments – The New York Times

We’re not safe without information privacy

Left unchecked, in ten years, some of the biggest, most influential corporations will know (or have ready access to) not just your name, email address, phone number, age, sex/gender, credit card numbers, family relationships, friends, mother’s maiden name, first car, favorite food, various social media metrics, browsing history, purchase history, as well as a large collection of content authored and curated by you.

That’s already bad enough. But they might add to their dossiers on you such things as your social security number, credit score, criminal record, medical history, voting history, religion, political party, government benefits, and more.

Full article: We’re not safe without information privacy

Taxing your privacy

Data collection through mobile tracking is big business. For consumers, protecting yourself against the who, what and where of data flow is just the beginning.

While the revenue upside for companies helping smart cities (and states) with taxing and tolling is significant, it is also rife with contradictions and complications that could, ultimately, pose serious problems to those companies’ underlying business models and for the investors that bet heavily on them.

Full article: Taxing your privacy | TechCrunch