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Category Archives for "Surveillance"

EU publishes toolbox for coronavirus tracking apps

Contact tracing apps, if fully compliant with EU rules and well coordinated, can play a key role in all phases of crisis management, especially when time will be ripe to gradually lift social distancing measures.

Therefore EU have developed an EU toolbox for the use of mobile applications for contact tracing and warning in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The toolbox is accompanied by guidance on data protection for such mobile apps.

Source: Coronavirus: An EU approach for efficient contact tracing

Has coronavirus opened the door to mass electronic surveillance in the UK?

An app that, once downloaded, lets you escape lockdown may sound tempting, but its implications could be dystopian.

In authoritarian states such as Russia or China, the fear is surely that tracking systems could be abused. In Britain, the worry is more that everyday life could swiftly become difficult for those unwilling to sign up. Even if it’s strictly voluntary, are we so sure that unscrupulous employers wouldn’t demand applicants install the app as a condition of hiring, that rogue landlords won’t try to discriminate against tenants who can’t show they have it, that insurers won’t seek to restrict health cover accordingly?

Full article: Has coronavirus opened the door to mass electronic surveillance in the UK? | Gaby Hinsliff | Opinion | The Guardian

Some shirts hide you from cameras—but will anyone wear them?

It’s theoretically possible to become invisible to cameras. But can it catch on?

The idea of using the “ugly shirt” to render oneself invisible to cameras has been a part of science fiction for a decade or more. But today, there are indeed computer scientists and artists working to make invisibility as simple as a shirt or a scarf… in theory, at least.

Full article: Some shirts hide you from cameras—but will anyone wear them? | Ars Technica

US task force seeks national coronavirus surveillance system

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner’s task force has reached out to a range of health technology companies about creating a national coronavirus surveillance system to give the government a near real-time view of where patients are seeking treatment and for what, and whether hospitals can accommodate them, according to four people with knowledge of the discussions.

The proposed national network could help determine which areas of the country can safely relax social-distancing rules and which should remain vigilant. But it would also represent a significant expansion of government use of individual patient data, forcing a new reckoning over privacy limits amid a national crisis.

Source: Kushner’s team seeks national coronavirus surveillance system – POLITICO

Detroit employs ‘Plane Flyovers, Video Surveillance’ to Enforce Social Distancing

The city of Detroit is increasing its Big Brother-type controls to ensure residents abide by social distancing orders.

City leaders are growing increasingly annoyed with residents who are ignoring commands, as the city comprises 6.7 percent of Michigan’s population but one-quarter of the state’s coronavirus cases.

Source: Detroit: ‘Plane Flyovers, Video Surveillance’ to Enforce Social Distancing

The Far-Right Helped Create The World’s Most Powerful Facial Recognition Technology

Clearview is the most powerful form of facial recognition technology ever created, according to the Times. With more than 3 billion photos scraped surreptitiously from social media profiles and websites, its image database is almost seven times the size of the FBI’s.

Exclusive documents obtained by HuffPost reveal that Ton-That, as well as several people who have done work for the company, have deep, longstanding ties to far-right extremists. Some members of this alt-right cabal went on to work for Ton-That.

Full article: The Far-Right Helped Create The World’s Most Powerful Facial Recognition Technology | HuffPost

EU data watchdog calls for pan-European coronavirus tracking app

Europe’s data protection watchdog has called for a single coronavirus tracking app to be used across the EU, stating that a tool with strong data protection built-in would be the best answer to tackling the pandemic.

As countries around Europe rush to release coronavirus tracking apps, European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Wojciech Wiewiorowski has called for a single app to be used across the continent.

Source: EU data watchdog calls for pan-European coronavirus tracking app | IT PRO

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

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