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Category Archives for "Technology"

Why facial recognition’s racial bias problem is so hard to crack

Nearly 40 percent of the false matches by Amazon’s facial recognition tool, which is being used by police, involved people of color.

Tech companies have responded to the criticism by improving the data used to train their facial recognition systems, but they’re also calling for more government regulation to help safeguard the technology from being abused.

Source: Why facial recognition’s racial bias problem is so hard to crack – CNET

HTTPS Isn’t Always as Secure as It Seems

A surprising number of high-traffic sites have TLS vulnerabilities that are subtle enough for the green padlock to still appear.

Transport Layer Security, or TLS, encrypts data between your browser and the web servers it communicates with to protect your travel plans, passwords, and Google searches from prying eyes. But new findings from researchers at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice in Italy and Tu Wien in Austria indicate that a surprising number of encrypted sites still leave these connections exposed.

Source: HTTPS Isn’t Always as Secure as It Seems | WIRED

A.I. Experts Question Amazon’s Facial-Recognition Technology

At least 25 prominent researchers are calling on the company to stop selling the technology to law enforcement agencies, citing concerns that it has built-in biases.

Amazon sells a product called Rekognition through its cloud-computing division, Amazon Web Services. The company said last year that early customers included the Orlando Police Department in Florida and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon.

Source: A.I. Experts Question Amazon’s Facial-Recognition Technology – The New York Times

Researchers Find Facebook’s Ad Targeting Algorithm Is Inherently Biased

Facebook is in trouble with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for what the department says are discriminatory ad targeting practices.

For years, advertisers were allowed by Facebook to target (or avoid targeting) protected groups, like minorities and specific gender identities. But in a new paper, a team of researchers says that Facebook’s ad delivery algorithm is inherently biased even when advertisers are trying to reach a large, inclusive audience.

Source: Researchers Find Facebook’s Ad Targeting Algorithm Is Inherently Biased – Motherboard

Facial recognition is coming to hotels

Alibaba has created the hotel of the future and it’s wild, wonderful, and just a little creepy.

FlyZoo, which is reportedly a Chinese pun for “must stay,” is a 290-room ultra-modern boutique hotel in Hangzhou, China that lets guests play with technology, check in with ease, and spend the night in the future for a low price of around $205—and at the cost of your privacy.

Full article: Alibaba’s FlyZoo hotel uses facial recognition check in tech

How to address new privacy issues raised by artificial intelligence and machine learning

Artificial intelligence and machine learning present unique challenges for protecting the privacy of personal data.

For this reason, policymakers need to craft new national privacy legislation that accounts for the numerous limitations that scholars have identified in the notice and consent model of privacy that has guided privacy thinking for decades. The exacerbation of privacy externalities created by machine learning techniques is just one more reason regarding the need for new privacy rules.

Full article: How to address new privacy issues raised by artificial intelligence and machine learning

How Facial Recognition Databases See Copyright Law But Not Your Privacy

Whether you realize it or not, your face may not be “yours” anymore.

Certain companies engaging in facial recognition research (like IBM) obtain photos from publicly available collections for research purposes to “train” their algorithms, without your permission or even knowledge.

From a copyright perspective, they are covered by “fair use” of copyrighted works for “purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research….”. Or they use compilations of photos licensed under Creative Commons license,

Full article: In Your Face: How Facial Recognition Databases See Copyright Law But Not Your Privacy | Above the Law

Why companies want to mine the secrets in your voice

The voice is highly personal, hard to fake, and it contains surprising information about our mental health and behaviors.

The Israeli company uses real-time voice analysis during calls to evaluate whether someone is likely to default on a bank loan, buy a more expensive product, or be the best candidate for a job.

Full article: Why companies want to mine the secrets in your voice – The Verge

UK to investigate bias of algorithmic decision-making

The potential for bias in the use of algorithms in crime and justice, financial services, recruitment and local government will be investigated by the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI).

  • Centre will investigate how to maximise the benefits in the use of algorithms in recruitment, local government and financial services
  • Comes as organisation publishes its first full-year work programme and strategy setting out its priorities for the year ahead

Source: Investigation launched into potential for bias in algorithmic decision-making in society – GOV.UK

Autonomous cars rise privacy questions

When fully autonomous vehicles begin circulating on public roads they will have to be able to detect when people enter or exit a vehicle, who the person is, whether they have left anything behind in the car, and especially if a person has become disabled (because of intoxication or a medical emergency).

And that information will inevitably be shared online, although there may be ways that some people can still preserve their sense of independence in the car.

“In the future, it may be different for people who own their own cars, where there’s more privacy,” said Mr. Wisselmann at BMW, “and for people who use robo taxis, where there will be less.”

Full article: Eyes on the Road! (Your Car Is Watching) – The New York Times

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