Speed Read

French Watchdog Warns Sports Club About Unlawful Use Of Facial Recognition Technology (Devdis Course, Feb 19, 2021)
France's data privacy watchdog CNIL has warned a sports club about the unlawful use of facial recognition technology to stop people from attending matches and aid the fight against terrorism, it said on Thursday. The CNIL did not name the club, but a source close to the matter said it was soccer club FC Metz, located in northeastern France, who play in the country's top division Ligue 1.

Ethiopia Launches National Identification System – Cardano Not Involved! (Crypto News Flash, Feb 19, 2021)
The first of Charles Hoskinson’s “birds” seemed to be landed in Ethiopia… However, not yet! In recent days, the Cardano inventor has repeatedly used the analogy of birds for upcoming announcements. And as the Ethiopian Ministry of Peace announced yesterday via Facebook, a national identification system seemed to be the first “big news”… Local voices stated that the system is based on Cardano’s Atala PRISM. But as we were informed, it isn’t. Basis for the rumors was, as CNF reported, IOG’s John O’Connor, Director of African Operations who teased the world’s largest deployment of blockchain in Africa two weeks ago. O’Connor said IOG is in the final stages of a government contract in Ethiopia to bring several million users onto the Cardano blockchain. Also leaked earlier was that it is a digital identity solution. The Facebook post now looked like confirmation of the news.

Biometric Data Collection: China Is The Most Invasive User In The World, According To A 96-country Study (South China Morning Post , Feb 19, 2021)


Biometric Authentication To Benefit Farmers: Centre (The Hindu, Feb 19, 2021)
It will aid in tracking end use beneficiary: Piyush Goyal In a bid to cut out middleman and ensure greater transparency in the procurement of farm produce, the Centre is encouraging States to deploy biometric authentication of farmers. The practice, already adopted in Uttar Pradesh and set to be rolled out in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha this year, will aid in tracking the end use beneficiary, Food Minister Piyush Goyal said at a press conference on Thursday.

Czech NGO Takes Part In New Initiative Calling For Ban On Biometric Mass Surveillance In EU (Czech Radio, Feb 19, 2021)
Earlier this week, a group of EU-watchdogs launched a European Citizens' Initiative calling for a ban on biometric mass surveillance.If the petition manages to gather at least one million signatures from seven EU member states it will force a debate on the topic in the European Parliament and a response from the European Commission. One of the organisers of the initiative is Hynek Trojánek from the Czech NGO Luridicum Remedium. I asked what led him to take part in the action.

Google Appoints Executive At Troubled AI Research Group (Silicon, Feb 19, 2021)
After the ‘firing’ of Timnit Gebru and subsequent staff unrest, Google appoints black executive to oversee AI research going forward Google has appointed a black executive to head up AI research at the firm, after the ‘dismissal’ of a prominent AI ethics researcher Timnit Gebru in late 2020. Google on Thursday named Marian Croak, one of its few Black executives, to oversee research on responsible artificial intelligence (AI), Reuters reported. Google reportedly confirmed Croak will manage 10 teams, including a dozen scientists studying the ethical considerations of automated technologies.

Slave To The Algo: Facial Recognition And Fraud In A Covid-19 World (City A.M., Feb 19, 2021)
Incredibly, this warning was given long before his death in 1982, when mobile phones were the size of bricks and computers were still shrouded in mysticism. Dick’s prophetic novels have since graced the big screen – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep became Blade Runner, and Tom Cruise showed us the value of a black market in ‘working/reusable eyes’ as the lead in the adaptation of Minority Report. Both of these works depict a world where technology can track our every movement, eliminating privacy as we know it. Sound familiar? Our heightened reliance on technology during the pandemic has rapidly augmented its encroachment.

NU Faces Lawsuit For Improperly Capturing And Storing Students’ Biometric Data (Daily Northwestern, Feb 19, 2021)
Northwestern is facing a lawsuit accusing the University of capturing and storing students’ biometric identifiers — such as their facial features and voices — through online test proctoring tools. The complaint, filed on Jan. 27 on behalf of an anonymous NU junior, asserts that NU violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. BIPA was enacted in 2008 to protect Illinois residents from companies seeking to collect their biometric data. The law requires companies and institutions to get permission from users before collecting and saving their biometrics. It also requires them to inform users about how their information will be stored, used and destroyed.


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