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Category Archives for "Surveillance"

The Netherlands Is Becoming a Predictive Policing Hot Spot

A report released late last month by Amnesty International revealed that Dutch law enforcement have been engaged in a number of predictive-policing pilots and referred to the Netherlands as “one of the countries at the forefront of predictive policing in practice.”

The project is not only intrusive, the report claims, but discriminatory by design, since its aim is to fight “mobile banditry” (crimes like theft, pickpocketing, and drug trafficking), a term which explicitly excludes people of Dutch nationality and assumes that the offender is either of Eastern European origin or Romani, a minority ethnic group.

‘Predictive policing projects like these are explicitly biased and prejudiced and rely on data that is explicitly biased and prejudiced, but nobody does anything about it.’ says Amnesty International.

Source: The Netherlands Is Becoming a Predictive Policing Hot Spot

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

Google Analytics Gets A Major Privacy And Machine Learning-Focused Overhaul

Google is revamping Google Analytics for a world in which privacy plays center stage and identifiers are exiting stage left.

The new version of Google Analytics, released on Wednesday, was in beta for more than a year, and will now be the default experience for all users.

The updated product includes privacy controls to help publishers manage their data use, a beefed up data deletion tool and a consent mode API that makes it easier for customers to pass along consent information collected from their users.

Source: Google Analytics Gets A Major Privacy And Machine Learning-Focused Overhaul | AdExchanger

CBP expands facial recognition program to international travelers at San Francisco and San Jose airports

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the expansion of its Simplified Arrival program, which uses facial recognition to verify the identity of airline travelers arriving in the U.S.

According to a press release, Simplified Arrival is now in use at San Francisco International Airport and Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport following recent installations in Detroit and Houston.

Source: CBP expands facial recognition program to international travelers at San Francisco and San Jose airports | VentureBeat

US Homeland Security collaring a suspected arsonist after asking Google for the IP addresses of folks who made a specific search

An unsealed warrant in a case involving alleged pedophile R&B star R. Kelly has shown how the Feds can get Google to hand over the details of people who make specific web search queries.

It raises a mild concern that if Uncle Sam’s request is too broad, and Google can’t or won’t resist the order, you could be swept up into an investigation simply by searching for the wrong thing at the wrong time. We note, though, that in this particular tale, the query was rather narrow, and Google insists it challenges overly broad warrants.

Source: Here’s US Homeland Security collaring a suspected arsonist after asking Google for the IP addresses of folks who made a specific search • The Register

Faulty Facial Recognition Led to His Arrest—Now He’s Suing

Michael Oliver is the second Black man found to be wrongfully arrested by Detroit police because of the technology—and his lawyers suspect there are many more.

Oliver, whose story echoes Williams’ dramatic ordeal, is suing the city of Detroit and the white detective who allegedly botched the case for at least $12 million. He claims the algorithm along with “grossly negligent” police work led to his nearly three day imprisonment—and ultimately hijacked his life.

Source: Faulty Facial Recognition Led to His Arrest—Now He’s Suing

CJEU ruling puts in danger EU-UK adequacy talks

This week, the CJEU issued a ruling that could spring a leak and potentially sink adequacy negotiations between the U.K. and EU.

CJEU ruled to restrict surveillance activities on phone and internet data by EU member states but specifically to regimes in Belgium, France and the U.K. The decision means governments have limited grounds for mass data retention unless they face a “serious threat to national security.” Additionally, access to phone and internet data, as well as the duration of that access, should be determined based on necessity.

The U.K. is chief among those affected by the court’s ruling as the clock winds down on its Brexit transition period, which is set to expire with or without an adequacy decision from the EU December 31. Doubts about an adequacy agreement already loomed, but the latest CJEU ruling further clouds a potential deal.

Source: CJEU throws wrinkle into EU-UK adequacy talks

Activists Sue San Francisco for Wide-Ranging Surveillance of Black-Led Protests Against Police Violence

Violating San Francisco’s Surveillance Technology Ordinance, SFPD Secretly Used Camera Network to Spy on People Protesting Police Killing of George Floyd.

Local activists sued San Francisco today over the city police department’s illegal use of a network of more than 400 non-city surveillance cameras to spy on them and thousands of others who protested as part of the Black-led movement against police violence.

Source: Activists Sue San Francisco for Wide-Ranging Surveillance of Black-Led Protests Against Police Violence

Wyden and Warren Demand Investigation into IRS Warrantless Location Tracking

A unit of the IRS previously bought access to location data harvested from ordinary apps installed on peoples’ phones to try and identify individuals.

The news highlights the continued tread of law enforcement agencies obtaining location data that would ordinarily require a warrant to do, by simply purchasing the data from commercial providers instead. Ron Wyden and Elizabeth Warren want a formal investigation into the IRS’ use of smartphone location data to track Americans without a warrant.

Source: Wyden and Warren Demand Investigation into IRS Warrantless Location Tracking

The EU’s Timetable for Dismantling End-to-End Encryption

Lobbying of “lawful access” to end-to-end encrypted services has moved from the U.S. to the European Union—where advocates for anti-encryption laws hope to have a smoother ride.

The public signs of this shift in the EU—which until now has been largely supportive toward privacy-protecting technologies like end-to-end encryption—began in June with a speech by Ylva Johansson, the EU’s Commissioner for Home Affairs.

Source: Orders from the Top: The EU’s Timetable for Dismantling End-to-End Encryption

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