Speed Read

County: Forest Grove Detective Misused Facial Recognition Program (KOIN, May 20, 2021)
Months before an intoxicated off-duty Forest Grove police officer acted threateningly toward a family flying a Black Lives Matter flag, Washington County authorities determined that another Forest Grove police officer unlawfully ran a peaceful BLM protester through facial recognition technology. The incident last June, which was not reported publicly at the time, led the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, which operated the program, to immediately shut off Forest Grove police access. Forest Grove Chief Henry Reimann went public about the incident earlier this month after the Pamplin Media Group sent him questions about it by email. He posted a “letter from the chief” on the city’s website saying the facial recognition incident was an example of Forest Grove officials “identifying and addressing mistakes.”

Post Office Accused Of Using Facial Recognition As Part Of Covert Surveillance Program (Daily Dot, May 20, 2021)
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is using a controversial facial recognition program as part of its recently uncovered covert surveillance efforts. As revealed by Yahoo News last month, the law enforcement arm for USPS, known as the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), has been secretly monitoring social media platforms under its Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP).

New Privacy Bill Won't Fix Canada's Longstanding Issues, Critics Say (Q107, May 20, 2021)
NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus pushed the government on why it is not addressing flaws in C-11, a bill to amend privacy laws, which the privacy commissioner has said does not do enough to prevent Canadians' privacy from being violated through the use of facial recognition technology. Canada’s existing privacy laws leave consumers and businesses exposed to misuses of data, mainly due to outdated rules and lack of enforcement ability for regulators, privacy commissioners and experts say, and a proposed new bill does not necessarily solve these issues. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government introduced Bill C-11 in November 2020, intended to modernize the oversight of data protection, but critics say it falls short of this goal. The bill has several hoops to pass through before it becomes law. Canada’s data privacy laws saw a significant update roughly 20 years ago.

Emails Show Pittsburgh Police Officers Accessed Clearview Facial Recognition After BLM Protests (Public Source, May 20, 2021)
Pittsburgh police officers accessed the facial recognition technology Clearview AI over the course of a year, including during Black Lives Matter protests last summer. The use of the technology violated police policy and, in some later cases, broke city law. Email records obtained via a public records request show 10 Pittsburgh Bureau of Police officers signed up for Clearview trial accounts between December 2019 and December 2020. Seven officers had trial accounts in June, at the height of local and national Black Lives Matter protests.

The State of Proposed Biometrics Laws (JD Supra, May 20, 2021)
2021 has so far been a year of conflicting impulses in biometrics law: two proposed bills in New York and Maryland would impose substantial new requirements on private entities, but in Illinois a proposed amendment would reign in that state’s existing Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).BIPA is currently the only state statute that provides a private right of action for individuals when a private entity improperly collects, stores, or discloses their biometrics. (Portland, Oregon recently enacted an ordinance prohibiting private entities from using facial recognition in places of public accommodation, and providing a private right of action for enforcement.)

More States Moving To Digital IDs (The Sentinel , May 20, 2021)
The card that millions of people use to prove their identity to everyone from police officers to liquor store owners may soon be a thing of the past as a growing number of states develop digital driver's licenses. With the advent of digital wallets and boarding passes, people are relying more on their phones to prove their identity. At least five states have implemented a mobile driver's license program. Three others — Utah, Iowa and Florida — intend to launch programs by next year, with more expected to follow suit.

Clearview AI Set Up Units to Sell Tech in Latin America, Asia (Bloomberg Law, May 20, 2021)
Clearview AI Inc. is trying to clear the record on two units outside the U.S., telling an Illinois federal court that they were set up to potentially sell its facial recognition technology to Latin American and Asian law enforcement authorities. The subsidiaries, based in Panama and Singapore, currently have “no customers,” lawyers for Clearview said in a Wednesday filing in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. New York City-based Clearview’s comments came as part of a lawsuit from consumers claiming privacy violations for allegedly using their photos without permission to develop the facial recognition technology. The...

DHS Plans Next Rally to Advance Facial Recognition Tech (Next Gov, May 20, 2021)
Biometric technology developers will soon get a chance to showcase their capabilities to government and industry stakeholders—and contribute to Homeland Security Department-led research to tackle complexities limiting existing tools for verifying people’s identities at security checkpoints. DHS Science and Technology Directorate on Wednesday announced plans to host its 2021 Biometric Technology Rally at the Maryland Test Facility in Upper Marlboro in the fall. Providers of face and multi-modal biometric acquisition systems and biometric matching algorithm-makers are encouraged by the agency to email peoplescreening@hq.dhs.gov to sign up for an informational webinar set for June 9. Applications are due July 15.


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