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Category Archives for "Surveillance"

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

Data collection leads to discrimination and self-censorship

Widespread data collection practices lead to self-censorship and discrimination even though most users are not fully aware of how much their privacy is being infringed, a parliamentary committee has been warned.

On Wednesday, the human rights committee, beginning its inquiry into the right to privacy and the digital revolution, published evidence from privacy and data protection organisations including the Information Commissioner’s Office, Liberty and Privacy International.

Full article: Data collection leads to discrimination and self-censorship, MPs told | Technology | The Guardian

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

New tool helps travelers avoid airlines that use facial recognition technology

A new tool launched by privacy activists offers to help travelers avoid increasingly invasive facial recognition technologies in airports.

Activist groups Fight for the Future, Demand Progress and Credo on Wednesday unveiled a new website called AirlinePrivacy.com, which shows users what airlines use facial recognition to verify the identity of passengers before boarding. The site also helps customers to directly book flights with airlines that don’t use facial recognition technologies.

Source: New tool helps travelers avoid airlines that use facial recognition technology

EU Council publishes draft conclusions on the retention of data to fight the crime

On 27 May, 2019, the Presidency of the Council issued draft conclusions of the Data Retention Working Party on the retention of data by telecoms service providers for the purpose of fighting crime.

The Conclusions point out that legislative reforms at national or EU level (specifically naming the future e-Privacy Regulation) should maintain the legal possibility for data retention schemes. They see data retention by telecoms service providers as an essential tool for the effective investigation of serious crime, including terrorism and cybercrime, and recommend implementing proportionate, necessary and transparent data retention obligations for telecoms businesses.

The Conclusions note that the data retention regimes should nonetheless provide for sufficient safeguards for fundamental rights, including the rights to privacy, personal data protection, non-discrimination and presumption of innocence.

Source: Conclusions of the Council of the European Union on Retention of Data for the Purpose of Fighting Crime

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

Coming to store shelves: cameras that guess your age and sex

Eyeing that can of soda in the supermarket cooler? Or maybe you’re craving a pint of ice cream? A camera could be watching you.

But it’s not there to see if you’re stealing. These cameras want to get to know you and what you’re buying.

It’s a new technology being trotted out to retailers, where cameras try to guess your age, gender or mood as you walk by. The intent is to use the information to show you targeted real-time ads on in-store video screens.

Full article: Coming to store shelves: cameras that guess your age and sex

Human Rights Watch Reverse-Engineers Mass Surveillance App used by Police in Xinjiang

For years, Xinjiang has been a testbed for the Chinese government’s novel digital and physical surveillance tactics, as well as human rights abuses. But there is still a lot that the international human rights community doesn’t know, especially when it comes to post-2016 Xinjiang.

Last Wednesday, Human Rights Watch released a report detailing the inner workings of a mass surveillance app used by police and other officials. The application is used by offiicals to communicate with the larger Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP), the umbrella system for collecting mass surveillance data in Xinjiang.

Full article: Human Rights Watch Reverse-Engineers Mass Surveillance App used by Police in Xinjiang

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