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Category Archives for "Technology"

Republicans push bill requiring tech companies to help access encrypted data

A group of Senate Republicans is looking to force tech companies to comply with “lawful access” to encrypted information, potentially jeopardizing the technology’s security features.

The proposed legislation is Congress’ latest attempt to weaken encryption from tech giants.

Source: Republicans push bill requiring tech companies to help access encrypted data – CNET

Privacy-preserving credentials for smartphones are coming

Mobile credentials for smartphones can help us securely and safely verify information about ourselves without revealing data unrelated to the question at hand.

Developers have been working for several years on a better way to design credentials. With COVID-19 and police surveillance now at the forefront of our political debates, it is time to bring this technology into the public conversation. The technology in question is privacy-preserving credentials hosted on smartphones, which have the potential to significantly improve privacy in cases where an individual needs to prove something like age or residence.

Source: Privacy-preserving credentials for smartphones are coming

Many Police Departments Have Software That Can Identify People In Crowds

BriefCam, a facial recognition and surveillance video analysis company, sells the ability to surveil protesters and enforce social distancing — without the public knowing.

BriefCam shows the line between contact tracing, policing, and surveillance can be thin — as cities can spend tens of thousands of dollars for powerful technology, with few restrictions on how police can use it.

Source: Many Police Departments Have Software That Can Identify People In Crowds

Russia to Install ‘Orwell’ Facial Recognition Tech in Every School

More than 43,000 Russian schools will be equipped with facial recognition cameras ominously named “Orwell”.

The state technology firm Rusnano’s Orwell platform is described as a image-recognition monitoring system that uses computer vision algorithms. It will be integrated with face recognition developed by NTechLab, a subsidiary of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s close associate Sergei Chemezov’s Rostec conglomerate.

The technology will ensure children’s safety by monitoring their movements and identifying outsiders on the premises.

Source: Russia to Install ‘Orwell’ Facial Recognition Tech in Every School – Vedomosti – The Moscow Times

Microsoft develops new differential privacy platform

Microsoft recently launched differential privacy platform, which injects a small amount of statistical “noise” to large data sets to protect individual privacy without materially impacting the accuracy of the data.

The differential privacy platform and its algorithms are now available on GitHub for developers, researchers, academics and companies worldwide to use for testing, building and support. We welcome and look forward to the feedback in response to this historic project.

Source: New differential privacy platform co-developed with Harvard’s OpenDP unlocks data while safeguarding privacy – Microsoft on the Issues

Facial recognition developed by Clearview AI likely illegal in Europe

The European Data Protection Board warned that Clearview AI’s technology is likely to be illegal in Europe.

Clearview AI’s software allows organizations to match pictures of people’s faces to a database containing more than 3 billion images that have been taken from social media platforms and other websites.

Source: Facial recognition developed by Clearview AI likely illegal in Europe

Apple declined to implement 16 Web APIs in Safari due to privacy concerns

Apple said this week that it declined to implement 16 new web technologies (Web APIs) in Safari because they posed a threat to user privacy by opening new avenues for user fingerprinting.

Apple claims that the 16 Web APIs above would allow online advertisers and data analytics firms to create scripts that fingerprint users and their devices.

Source: Apple declined to implement 16 Web APIs in Safari due to privacy concerns | ZDNet

Tiktok to transfer data control to UK arm ahead of Brexit

Tiktok has said it will be moving ownership of its users’ data in Europe to local subsidiaries, in a boost to its British arm as it prepares for Brexit.

The social media app’s US parent Tiktok Inc will no longer manage and safeguard data for users based in the UK and the European Union. Instead, from 29 July, Tiktok Ireland will control the data of all users in the European Economic Area and Switzerland, while Tiktok UK will do the same for Britons.

Source: Tiktok to transfer data control to UK arm ahead of Brexit – CityAM : CityAM

São Paulo subway facial recognition system slammed over user data security and privacy

A new surveillance system is deemed “inefficient and dangerous” as it fails to protect the personal information of 4 million daily users, associations say.

The current legacy system includes an estate of non-integrated 2200 cameras that will be replaced by 5200 digital high-definition cameras controlled centrally. But the company responsible for the operation of São Paulo’s subway system has failed to demonstrate sufficient evidence that it is ensuring the protection of user privacy in the implementation of a new platform that will use facial recognition technology.

Source: São Paulo subway facial recognition system slammed over user data security and privacy | ZDNet

Coronavirus opens door to company surveillance of workers

Privacy advocates warn of a slippery slope toward “normalizing” new levels of employer surveillance.

Employers are rushing to use digital tracking technology to reduce virus transmission in the workplace. But privacy experts worry that businesses will start using their newfound surveillance capabilities for purposes far beyond public health. The data could be used to evaluate workers’ productivity, see which colleagues are holding meetings or even flag an employee who unexpectedly ducks out of the office during work hours.

Full article: Coronavirus opens door to company surveillance of workers – POLITICO

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