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Category Archives for "Surveillance"

Privately funded surveillance planes to begin patrolling Baltimore skies

Three privately funded surveillance planes were cleared to begin patrolling Baltimore from the sky Wednesday, despite opposition from multiple civil liberties groups who warned that such surveillance could violate protections in the U.S. Constitution.

It allows the planes to collect images of the city to help investigate murders, nonfatal shootings, armed robberies and carjackings.

Source: Privately funded surveillance planes to begin patrolling Baltimore skies – The Washington Post

Armenia amends law to allow tracking of infected

The National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia on 31 March, 2020 passed amendments to the Law on Legal Regime of the State of Emergency and to the Law on Electronic Communication as a response to the current COVID-19 (‘Coronavirus’) pandemic.

Amendments in the Law on Electronic Communication will allow the tracking of individuals infected with the Coronavirus through smart phones and technical means.

Source: National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia | Official Web Site | parliament.am

Australia will install home surveillance hardware to ensure virus isolation

The State of Western Australia has given itself the power to install surveillance devices in homes, or compel people to wear them, to ensure that those required to isolate during the coronavirus crisis don’t interact with the community.

Not all people will be required to use the devices. State Premier Mark McGowan said they’ll only be used if: “Someone who is directed to self-isolate and fails to comply.”

Source: Australian state will install home surveillance hardware to make sure if you’re in virus isolation, you stay there • The Register

Justice Department audit finds widespread flaws in FBI surveillance applications 

A Justice Department audit of the FBI’s use of secret surveillance warrants has found widespread problems with the law enforcement agency’s process for ensuring that facts are backing up the claims made to judges when seeking a warrant.

The finding of broader failings in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act program came in a review launched by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz after an earlier inquiry found numerous errors in applications to monitor former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page. In a bid to assess whether the faults in the Page’s surveillance process were an aberration or a chronic problem, Horowitz’s audit team zeroed in on 29 applications for surveillance of U.S. citizens or green-card holders over a five-year period.

Source: Justice Department audit finds widespread flaws in FBI surveillance applications – POLITICO

Lawmakers Leave Washington Without Renewing Expired Surveillance Powers

House lawmakers left town Friday after passing a roughly $2 trillion dollar coronavirus relief package without voting to renew a set of intelligence powers that expired earlier this month, meaning surveillance tools used by the FBI to pursue terrorism suspects will likely remain defunct for at least several more weeks.

The surveillance powers, originally enacted after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks have lapsed before due to congressional inaction, but only for about a day. They expired on March 15.

Source: Lawmakers Leave Washington Without Renewing Expired Surveillance Powers – WSJ

Watchdog approves use of UK phone data to help fight coronavirus

The UK’s privacy watchdog has said the government can legally use personal data from people’s mobile phones to track and monitor behaviour if it helps fight the spread of coronavirus.

It emerged last week that the government was in talks with UK mobile phone companies to potentially use anonymous location and usage data to create movement maps, with a 12- to 24-hour delay, to discover whether the public are abiding by lockdown rules.

Source: Watchdog approves use of UK phone data to help fight coronavirus | World news | The Guardian

Coronavirus Could Infect Privacy And Civil Liberties Forever

Not only are governments adopting new economic and public health measures to fight the coronavirus and its impact, but they’re harnessing big data in ways that, while potentially saving lives, will also reduce our privacy and civil liberties.

It’s a testbed for new, much more large-scale forms of surveillance. Already, governments in Italy, Germany, Austria, China, South Korea and Taiwan have begun analysing smartphone data so as to determine to what extent populations are really locking themselves down at home. Surveillance measures now being imposed on national populations risk permanently altering how much privacy and freedom we have as individuals.

Full article: Coronavirus Could Infect Privacy And Civil Liberties Forever

Italian police can now use drones to monitor people’s movements

Italy has said police may use drones to monitor movement in order to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

The National Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) authorized the use of drones to monitor the movements of citizens in municipal areas to ensure the containment of the epidemiological emergency, ENAC said Monday in a letter published on its official website.

Source: March 24 coronavirus news – CNN

Clearview AI Reportedly Worked On a Mug Shot Repository to Go With Its Face Recognition App

The controversial facial recognition firm Clearview AI has already landed in hot water for purportedly letting both law enforcement and rich investors play around in its database of billions of photos scraped from the public internet.

However, a new report suggests the company didn’t just stop there. Apparently, at one point Clearview AI aimed to compile a nationwide repository of mug shots from the last 15 years.

Source: Clearview AI Reportedly Worked On a Mug Shot Repository to Go With Its Face Recognition App

This Filter Makes Your Photos Invisible to Facial Recognition

Digital cloaking, and how you can reclaim a modicum of digital privacy.

A.I. researchers are starting to think about how technology can solve the problem it created. Algorithms with names like “PrivacyNet” and “AnonymousNet” and “Fawkes” now offer a glimmer of refuge from the facial recognition algorithms trawling the public web.

Full article: This Filter Makes Your Photos Invisible to Facial Recognition

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