Speed Read

Portland Face Biometrics Ban Proposal Reflects Basic Misunderstanding Of The Technology, IBIA Says (Biometric Update, Jul 29, 2020)
Draft bills under consideration by the City of Portland to prohibit biometric facial recognition from being used by public and private entities are based on a definition of the technology which is unsupported by science or experts, according to the International Biometrics + Identity Association (IBIA). The rationale the ordinances are based on is unsupportable, the IBIA writes in its comments on the draft bills. The group argues for that conclusion based on NIST testing showing undetectable differences in accuracy between demographic groups in top performing algorithms, the benefits of facial recognition, the risks of an open-ended moratorium on the technology’s use to public safety and national security, and the misunderstanding of facial recognition shown by its definition in the bills.

Researchers Create AI Bot To Protect The Identities Of BLM Protesters (Artificial Intelligence News, Jul 29, 2020)
Researchers from Stanford have created an AI-powered bot to automatically cover up the faces of Black Lives Matter protesters in photos. Everyone should have the right to protest. And, if done legally, to do so without fear of having things like their future job prospects ruined because they’ve been snapped at a demonstration – from which a select few may have gone on to do criminal acts such as arson and looting.

Congress Doesn't Get Big Tech. By Design. (NY Times, Jul 29, 2020)
I’ll make an easy prediction about Wednesday’s congressional hearing into the power of big tech companies: Members of Congress will say dumb things. But please don’t believe that these people are too old or too clueless to exercise effective oversight of tech superpowers. This idea, which is prevalent inside of tech companies, lets the tech giants off the hook for what they do. It shows a smug superiority that is not a good look. And it ignores that tech companies are built around software that is designed not to be understood by outsiders.

Texas Is Investigating Facebook Biometric Data Collection Practices (Morning Brew, Jul 29, 2020)
Last week, Facebook agreed to pay $650 million to settle an Illinois class action privacy lawsuit. The company didn’t obtain users’ consent for the “tag suggestions” feature that recognized friends’ faces, running afoul of Illinois’ 2008 Biometric Information Privacy Act. Déjà vu? Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is investigating FB for potentially violating Lone Star State laws on biometric data collection, Axios reported Monday.

Pre-Pandemic Facial Recognition Algorithms Falter In The Presence Of Masks (Analytics India Mag, Jul 29, 2020)
The ongoing pandemic has established many uncomfortable norms in every corner of the world. Wearing masks is one such norm that has been embraced by many, reluctantly. Now the question is, what happens to those facial recognition systems, which were trained on faces without masks in the pre-pandemic world?

DBS, GovTech Pilot ‘selfie’ Verification For Faster Digital Banking Sign-ups (Today Online, Jul 29, 2020)
Customers of DBS bank who may have shied away from mobile banking services before may now sign up for them just by taking a selfie. DBS and the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) on Wednesday (July 29) said that the pilot programme — which uses SingPass face verification technology — is designed to help customers who are unfamiliar with registering online for digital banking to do so in a "more intuitive and seamless manner".  

Top Facial Recognition Tech Is Thrown Off By Masks, Study Says, But That Could Soon Change (Washington Post, Jul 29, 2020)
Masks are confusing many commercial facial-recognition systems, a new study finds, leading to error rates as high as 50 percent. A preliminary study published Monday by the National Institute for Standards and Technology found that facial-recognition algorithms could be tripped up by such variables as mask color and shape. But industry players already are working on software that adjusts for masks — a requirement in many public spaces to contain the spread of covid-19 — which the NIST also plans to study this summer.

County To Order State-Of-The Art Devices To Record Temperature, Other Information (Stegen Herald, Jul 29, 2020)
The County Commission voted last Thursday to buy several GFI Digital temperature verification kiosks. The devices will do more than quickly take individuals’ temperature. They also use facial recognition software. This, combined with a n new policy of making all courthouse visitors sign in, with name and phone number, will allow the county to track and trace people in the event of a visitor testing positive for COVID-19.

Members News & Views

Futurex And NEC Partner For ATM Biometrics (Fin Extra, Jul 29, 2020)
This integration enables financial services providers to introduce an additional security layer for their systems, including ATMs, by performing verification and validation of face recognition-based banking transactions. Futurex’s HSMs manage cryptographic keys in real time, with the highest level of security. This provides the immediate verification needed to complete a facial recognition interaction so that a financial transaction can be completed securely and efficiently.


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