Speed Read

Shopping Centers Exploring Facial Recognition in Brave New World of Retail (Wall Street Journal, Jul 03, 2019)
Landlords could do it all if they wanted. Facial-recognition technology has advanced to the point that U.S. malls could know shoppers’ names when they enter, watch what they buy and send them promotions to encourage repeat visits.

China Snares Tourists’ Phones in Surveillance Dragnet by Adding Secret App (NY Times, Jul 03, 2019)
Border authorities routinely install the app on the phones of people entering the Xinjiang region by land from Central Asia, gathering personal data and scanning for material considered objectionable.

Russia To Install Biometric ATMs (Banks, Jul 03, 2019)
The ATMs are expected to identify the user by the face and make transactions without the plastic card. However, first the clients have to provide the credit organization with their biometric data, which will be attached to the accounts.

Claims that Darwin’s AI-powered CCTV system ‘could go rogue’. (The Australian, Jul 03, 2019)
Darwin Council has blanketed the CBD with 138 extra CCTV cameras built by a company that promises users of its technology that they can “see everything, hear everything, track everything”.The council insists Indigo­Vision’s artificial intelligence-powered surveillance techniques such as facial recognition, geo­fencing, number plate recognition and target pursuit are not in use in Darwin.

Racial Bias in Facial Recognition Technology: What City Leaders Should Know (Cities Speak, Jul 03, 2019)
On July 1 the City of San Francisco effected a ban on facial recognition technology—the first of its kind in the nation. Aimed at leading with transparency, accountability and equity, the ban passed as part of the city’s Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance. While the city stopped testing facial recognition technology in 2007 and has not been using the software in the years leading up to the ban, this legislation is significant because it expands upon action taken by other cities to require board of supervisors approval for any law enforcement or city agency use or purchase of new surveillance technologies. It is also the first ordinance of its kind to specifically address facial recognition technology, which has seen increased use and controversy in recent years.

Facial Recognition Technology Banned By City (the Somerville Times, Jul 03, 2019)
During the latest City Council meeting, an ordinance banning the use of facial recognition technology in Somerville was discussed, in consultation with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and advocated specifically by Ward 3 Councilor Ben Ewen-Campen.

Local Government Is Left To Fend For Itself With Facial-Recognition Regulation (PC Mag, Jul 03, 2019)
Some cities are taking a stand against flawed facial-recognition software such as Amazon's Rekognition, but federal regulators haven't stepped in yet.

China Is Forcing Tourists to Install Text-Stealing Malware at its Border (VICE, Jul 03, 2019)
Foreigners crossing certain Chinese borders into the Xinjiang region, where authorities are conducting a massive campaign of surveillance and oppression against the local Muslim population, are being forced to install a piece of malware on their phones that gives all of their text messages as well as other pieces of data to the authorities, a collaboration by Motherboard, Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Guardian, the New York Times, and the German public broadcaster NDR has found.

A National Approach Is Needed To Handle Facial-Recognition Tech (Post- Journal, Jul 03, 2019)
Holding off on facial recognition technology is probably a good idea in the short term, but we'd prefer to see where federal guidelines go before


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