Speed Read

Minneapolis Poised To Ban Facial Recognition For Police Use (The Guardian , Feb 12, 2021)
The city of Minneapolis is poised to ban facial recognition software for police use, part of a growing movement to prohibit software known to have serious flaws identifying racial minorities and women. The actions of Minneapolis police sparked a racial reckoning in the United States last summer when police officers knelt on the neck of George Floyd for more than eight minutes, leading to his death.

New Massachusetts Law Paves The Way For Police-free Schools (The Appeal, Feb 12, 2021)
In Massachusetts, those who want police out of public schools are one step closer to making it happen. Lawmakers recently struck down a requirement that all school districts in the state have at least one “school resource officer”—a moniker for school cops. Now just two states—Florida and Maryland—have laws requiring police in schools, and advocates are pushing them to follow suit.

Greece Moves Ahead With Biometric Border Management System (GTP, Feb 12, 2021)
In an effort to secure borders, Greece announced that it would be implementing a border management system that will record all crossings budgeted at 35 million euros. The action is part of a Europe-wide “Entry/Exit System (EES)” plan that will create a unified information system for recording data on the entry and exit movements of short-stay third country nationals crossing the external borders of the EU.

Swedish Police Fined By Data Protection Regulator For Using Clearview Ai (Technadu, Feb 12, 2021)
The police in Sweden were apparently using the Clearview AI facial recognition product, which has been criticized for its unethical and barely legal data scraping practices. The reports of this deployment eventually reached the Swedish Authority for Privacy Protection (IMY), which launched an investigation against the nation’s police. Today, the authority has published its conclusion – the Police agents were using the particular application without authorization, so the office imposes an administrative fine of SEK 2,500,000 (approximately $300,000) for infringements of the Criminal Data Act.

U.S. Used Facial Recognition on Millions of Air Travelers Last Year, Found No Imposters (Reason, Feb 12, 2021)
Despite using facial recognition technology on millions of air travelers last year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) caught not a single identity imposter at American airports. Since 2018, airport CBP officers have only "intercepted seven impostors," according to a new report from the agency. That's something to keep in mind as the feds continue to build out biometric databases and officials champion their use as a vital national security step. In that same CBP report, the agency reveals that it scanned the faces of some 23 million travelers in and out of the U.S. via airplanes, boats, and foot travel in fiscal year 2020 (that's October 2019 through September 2020). But "the system caught no imposters traveling through airports last year and fewer than 100 new pedestrian imposters," reports Dave Gershgorn at OneZero.

New York City’s Surveillance Battle Offers National Lessons (Wired, Feb 12, 2021)
IN JANUARY, WHEN New York’s Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology Act went into effect, the City of New York Police Department was suddenly forced to detail the tools it had long kept from public view. But instead of giving New Yorkers transparency, the NYPD gave error-filled, boilerplate statements that hide almost everything of value. Almost none of the policies list specific vendors, surveillance tool models, or information-sharing practices. The department’s facial recognition policy says it can share data “pursuant to on-going criminal investigations, civil litigation, and disciplinary proceedings,” a standard so broad it’s largely meaningless.

Google Tests Face ID Privacy Lock For Your Confidential Chrome Incognito Tabs (Hot Hardware, Feb 12, 2021)
The concept of "private browsing" has been around for well over a decade and has been incorporated into all major web browsers. The concept is similar across all these browsers as well: it gives users a new, "clean" session that wipes out your browsing history when you close the tab. While your IP address and other information can still be tracked, someone with direct access to your computer or shared mobile device wouldn't be able to easily see what sites you visited or content you searched for. While this is a definite "perk" of private browsing, you still need to actually close out the session or someone could just open the browser, and click over to it. Google, however, is looking to prevent this potential security risk (or embarrassment depending on what you're searching for) with a feature called "Lock Incognito Tabs" in Chrome. This feature would lock your Incognito browsing sessions behind biometric authentication in iOS.


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