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Category Archives for "Technology"

Hiding in plain sight: activists don camouflage to beat Met surveillance

Privacy campaigners bid to beat police facial recognition plans by wearing ‘dazzle’ makeup. Wearing makeup has long been seen as an act of defiance, from teenagers to New Romantics. Now that defiance has taken on a harder edge, as growing numbers of people use it to try to trick facial recognition systems.

Unlike fingerprinting and DNA testing, there are few restrictions on how police can use the new technology. And some of those who are concerned have decided to assert their right not to be put under surveillance with the perhaps unlikely weapon of makeup.

Source: Hiding in plain sight: activists don camouflage to beat Met surveillance | World news | The Guardian

Chicago police using controversial Clearview AI facial recognition tool that taps photos from Facebook, other sites

The Chicago Police Department is using a controversial facial recognition tool that allows investigators to search an image of unknown suspects to see if it matches a database of three billion photos lifted from websites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter — a technology privacy advocates say is so ripe for abuse that cops should stop using it immediately.

Critics say Clearview AI’s software is an invasive overreach because it grabs the photos without the consent of those pictured or even the websites that post them. But Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said facial recognition software like Clearview adds “jet fuel” to the department’s ability to identify and locate suspects.

Source: Clearview AI facial recognition: Chicago police using controversial tool that taps photos from Facebook, other sites – Chicago Sun-Times

Facial recognition fails in China as people wear masks to avoid coronavirus

Face ID fails users as the China coronavirus outbreak sparks widespread adoption of surgical masks.

For hundreds of millions of people in China, the spread of the new coronavirus has caused abrupt changes to the smallest of habits — even a gesture that most in the country are used to by now: Looking into the camera for facial recognition.

Residents donning surgical face masks while venturing outside their homes or meeting strangers have found themselves in an unfamiliar conundrum. With their faces half-covered, some are unable to unlock their phones or use mobile payments with their faces.

Source: Facial recognition fails in China as people wear masks to avoid coronavirus – Face ID fails users as the China coronavirus outbreak sparks widespread adoption of surgical masks | Abacus

Grindr and OKCupid Sell Your Data, but Twitter’s MoPub Is the Real Problem

On January 15, a Norweigian Consumer Council (NCC) investigative report exposed the ways that Grindr, OKCupid, and eight other apps are collecting and sharing extremely sensitive personal data.

A third-party advertising company called MoPub, owned by Twitter, was responsible for much of the technology that Grindr used to collect and share data. MoPub operates in the vast, convoluted, opaque ecosystem of personal data collection and sharing that powers modern adtech.

Source: Grindr and OKCupid Sell Your Data, but Twitter’s MoPub Is the Real Problem | Electronic Frontier Foundation

EU seeks ‘clear criteria’ for use of biometric AI on mass scale

There should be “clear criteria” in the future mass-scale rollout of Biometric Identification Systems in the EU, a recently leaked draft of the EU’s Artificial Intelligence strategy reveals.

The document, an update on an earlier leaked version, has also scrapped the idea of a temporary ban on facial recognition technologies in public spaces.

The document notes that the lack of information about the use of biometric identification systems prohibits the Commission from making a broad analysis of the implications of this technology, which analyses a person’s physical features for computational purposes.

Source: EU seeks ‘clear criteria’ for use of biometric AI on mass scale – EURACTIV.com

Forensics detective says Android encryption now superior to iPhones

According to a forensics detective, Android encryption has made it harder to crack Android phones as compared to iPhones. This is a reversal from the norm.

Cellebrite — one of the most prominent companies that government agencies hire to crack smartphones — has a cracking tool that can break into any iPhone made up to and including the iPhone X. The tool pulls data such as GPS records, messages, call logs, contacts, and even data from specific apps such as Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., all of which could be incredibly helpful in prosecuting criminals.

However, that same Cellebrite cracking tool is much less successful with Android encryption on prominent handsets.

Source: Forensics detective says Android encryption now superior to iPhones

Smart doorbell company Ring may be surveilling users through its app

The “Ring for Android” app shares user data including names, private IP addresses, mobile network carriers and sensor data with a number of third-party trackers, the investigation found. At least four analytics and marketing companies receive such information from customer devices.

Every time a customer opens the Ring app, it sends information to Facebook about the user, including the time zone, device model, language preferences, screen resolution, and a unique identifier, the report found.

It also sends information to the data company AppsFlyer. MixPanel, a business analytics firm, receives the most information, including users’ full names, email addresses, device information such as operating system (OS) version and model, whether Bluetooth is enabled, and the number of Ring devices installed.

Source: Smart doorbell company Ring may be surveilling users through its app | Technology | The Guardian

Moscow rolls out live facial recognition system with an app to alert police

Moscow is the latest major city to introduce live facial recognition cameras to its streets, with Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announcing that the technology is operating “on a mass scale” earlier this month.

Moscow started trialing live facial recognition in 2017, using technology from Russian firm NtechLab to scan footage from the Russian capital’s network of 160,000 CCTV cameras. The company is best known for its FindFace software, which it launched in 2016 and let users match anyone in a picture to their profile on VK, known as Russia’s Facebook.

Moscow police will use the technology by creating watchlists of suspects they can search for on live camera footage. If a match is found, the police will be notified via NtechLab’s app.

Source: Moscow rolls out live facial recognition system with an app to alert police – The Verge

Sen. Graham Draft Bill Would Ban Encryption, Undermine User Privacy, Security

Senator Lindsey Graham, a top Trump ally, is targeting giant internet platforms with a child protection measure that could threaten tech companies’ use of encryption and a liability exemption they prize.

Although the measure doesn’t directly mention encryption, it would require that companies work with law enforcement to identify, remove, report and preserve evidence related to child exploitation — which critics said would be impossible to do for services such as WhatsApp that are encrypted from end-to-end.

Source: Lindsey Graham Proposal Could Expose Apple, Facebook to Lawsuits – Bloomberg

Facebook’s new privacy tool lets you manage how you’re tracked across the web

Mark Zuckerberg’s long-promised “Clear History” button is finally launched globally.

Facebook has been determined to give people privacy controls while they’re on the social network. On Tuesday, it rolled out a long-promised tool designed to give them control beyond the social network.

While it had slow rollouts around the world, starting last August, it should be available now to the 2.4 billion people who use Facebook every month, Zuckerberg said.

Source: Facebook’s new privacy tool lets you manage how you’re tracked across the web – CNET

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