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Category Archives for "Technology"

Facebook and Google have ad trackers on your streaming TV

Modern TV, coming to you over the Internet instead of through cable or over the air, has a modern problem: all of your Internet-connected streaming devices are watching you back and feeding your data to advertisers. Two independent sets of researchers this week released papers that measure the extent of the surveillance your TV is conducting on you.

The first study, conducted by researchers at Princeton and the University of Chicago, looked specifically at Roku and Amazon set-top devices. A review of more than 2,000 channels across the two platforms found trackers on 69% of Roku channels and 89% of Amazon Fire TV channels.

Source: Facebook and Google have ad trackers on your streaming TV, studies find | Ars Technica

Google Seeks to Establish Facial Recognition in Homes

With opposition growing to facial recognition, Google has decided instead to build facial recognition into Nest Hub Max, an “always on” device intended for use in the home.

Google’s “face match” constantly targets the facial images of each person in the household. Any interaction with the Google device is added to the secret user profile Google maintains for ad targeting.

Source: Google Seeks to Establish Facial Recognition in Homes

California lawmakers passes ban on facial recognition tech in police body cams

The three-year moratorium prohibits state and local law enforcement from using facial recognition technology.

The bill, AB215, also referred to as the Body Camera Accountability Act got voted by The State Assembly 42-18, and will now head to Governor Gavin Newsom who will decide on signing the bill to law. If he signs, it will go into effect January, 2020.

Source: #privacy: California lawmakers passes ban on facial recognition tech in police body cams

Web feature developers need to pay more attention to privacy and security

Web feature developers are being warned to step up attention to privacy and security as they design contributions.

Writing in a blog post about “evolving threats” to Internet users’ privacy and security, the W3C standards body’s technical architecture group (TAG) and Privacy Interest Group (PING) set out a series of revisions to the W3C’s Security and Privacy Questionnaire for web feature developers.

Full article: Web feature developers told to dial up attention on privacy and security | TechCrunch

UK Court Dismisses Challenge to Police Use of Facial Recognition Technology

On September 4, 2019, the High Court of England and Wales dismissed a challenge to South Wales Police’s use of Automated Facial Recognition technology. The Court determined that the police’s use of AFR had been necessary and proportionate to achieve their statutory obligations.

The police would subsequently match the images captured with wanted persons in their own databases using biometric data analysis. Where a match was not made with any of these watchlists, the images were immediately and automatically deleted.

Source: High Court Dismisses Challenge to Police Use of Facial Recognition Technology

Amazon testing payment system that uses hands as ID

Forget the titanium Apple Card — Amazon’s latest payment method uses flesh and blood.

The e-tailing giant’s engineers are quietly testing scanners that can identify an individual human hand as a way to ring up a store purchase, with the goal of rolling them out at its Whole Foods supermarket chain in the coming months.

Source: Amazon testing payment system that uses hands as ID

Google is open-sourcing a tool for data scientists to help protect private information

Google is open-sourcing its so-called differential privacy library, an internal tool the company uses to securely draw insights from datasets that contain the private and sensitive personal information of its users.

Differential privacy is a cryptographic approach to data science, particularly with regard to analysis, that allows someone relying on software-aided analysis to draw insights from massive datasets while protecting user privacy.

Source: Google is open-sourcing a tool for data scientists to help protect private information – The Verge

Chinese shoppers adopt facial payments in cashless drive

China’s shoppers are increasingly purchasing goods with just a turn of their heads as the country embraces facial payment technology.

The software is already widely used, often to monitor citizens – it has been credited with nabbing jaywalkers and catching criminals. But authorities have come under fire for using it to crack down and monitor dissent, particularly in China’s surveillance-heavy region of Xinjiang.

Despite the concerns over data security and privacy, consumers seem unperturbed as facial recognition payment hits the high streets.

Source: Chinese shoppers adopt facial payments in cashless drive | Technology – Gulf News

Browser Fingerprinting: An Introduction and the Challenges Ahead

In the past few years, a technique called browser fingerprinting has received a lot of attention because of the risks it can pose to privacy.

What is it? How is it used? What is Tor Browser doing against it?

In this blog post is answer to these questions: Browser Fingerprinting: An Introduction and the Challenges Ahead | Tor Blog

Facebook: Charting a Way Forward on Privacy and Data Portability

To build portability tools people can trust and use effectively, online services need clear rules about what kinds of data should be portable and who is responsible for protecting that data as it moves to different services.

To address that, Facebook has published a white paper that sets forth five questions about data portability and privacy that we hope will help advance a global conversation.

The paper can be downloaded here.

Source: Charting a Way Forward on Privacy and Data Portability | Facebook Newsroom

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