Speed Read

South Australia Facial Recognition Trial: Covid App Blasted By Fox And Breitbart Criticised Over Lack Of Safeguards (The Guardian, Sep 08, 2021)
Civil liberty groups say an app being trialled in South Australia that uses facial recognition and geolocation to enforce home quarantine during the Covid-19 pandemic should not be used until the proper safeguards are in place. South Australia is currently using a government-developed app to enforce home quarantine compliance for a small cohort of returning interstate travellers who opt-in to the trial. Users are sent a message at random times and must respond within 15 minutes, verifying their location and identity using facial recognition and geolocation.

Judge Tosses Lawsuit Over New York School District's Facial-recognition Plan (State Scoop, Sep 08, 2021)
A judge last week dismissed a lawsuit brought against a Western New York school district’s recent use of facial recognition in its facilities, ruling that the case was moot thanks to a December law curtailing the use of the surveillance technology. The New York Civil Liberties Union had sued last year to block the Lockport City School District, located in a Buffalo suburb, from using a network of more than 300 cameras across its K-12 campuses. The cameras were activated in January 2020, despite several years of opposition from privacy advocates and parents of the district’s 4,400 students.

Bias Persists In Face Detection Systems From Amazon, Microsoft, And Google (Venture Beat, Sep 08, 2021)
Commercial face-analyzing systems have been critiqued by scholars and activists alike over the past decade, if not longer. A paper last fall by University of Colorado, Boulder researchers showed that facial recognition software from Amazon, Clarifai, Microsoft, and others was 95% accurate for cisgender men but often misidentified trans people. Furthermore, independent benchmarks of vendors’ systems by the Gender Shades project and others have revealed that facial recognition technologies are susceptible to a range of racial, ethnic, and gender biases.

Parents' Lawsuit Over Lockport Facial Recognition System Ends (Buffalo News, Sep 08, 2021)
Ajudge in Albany ruled this week that a lawsuit filed by some Lockport parents over the facial recognition security system in public schools there is moot because the state passed a law banning such systems. The lawsuit contended that the state Education Department's November 2019 approval of the system's use was improper, but State Supreme Court Justice James H. Ferreira wasn't interested in pursuing the matter. In a nine-page ruling, Ferreira said the approval was invalidated when former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a law in December 2020 banning the use of facial recognition technology in schools.

How Facial Recognition Technology Impacts Our Dignity, Autonomy And Human Rights (Financial Post, Sep 08, 2021)
This week on Down to Business, Wendy Wong, a professor of political science at the University of Toronto where she is also a research lead at the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society and Canada Research Chair in Global Governance and Civil Society, discussed the ways that facial recognition technology has changed the world. Wong is an advocate for data literacy — not digital literacy, which generally means the ability to use a smartphone or tablet — but rather being literate and aware of the many ways that our data is collected and how it’s used.

Subway Passengers In Moscow Will Be Able To Pay For The Ride With Their Faces (Slate, Sep 08, 2021)
Soon there will be no need for a passenger of the Moscow subway to pause in front of the turnstiles and frantically search their pockets for a transit card or ticket. Starting from Oct. 15, a glance at the camera will open the pay gate. On Wednesday, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced that the Face Pay system will soon be available at all subway stations (about 300). To be able to use it, commuters register in the Moscow subway app, upload a photo of their face, and attach their bank card. Once the user approaches turnstiles, the camera recognizes the face (even if the person is wearing a mask), the fare is debited from their account, and the pay gate opens. The whole process takes two or three seconds. But customers can still pay the old-fashioned way, too.

U.S.-Built Databases, Biometric Data A Potential Tool Of The Taliban (PBS, Sep 08, 2021)
Over two decades, the United States and its allies spent hundreds of millions of dollars building databases for the Afghan people. The nobly stated goal: Promote law and order and government accountability and modernize a war-ravaged land. But in the Taliban’s lightning seizure of power, most of that digital apparatus — including biometrics for verifying identities — apparently fell into Taliban hands. Built with few data-protection safeguards, it risks becoming the high-tech jackboots of a surveillance state. As the Taliban get their governing feet, there are worries it will be used for social control and to punish perceived foes.

White Castle Biometric Privacy Case to Shape Litigation Landscape (Bloomberg Law, Sep 08, 2021)
A Seventh Circuit case heading to oral argument will clarify when claims accrue under the oft-cited Biometric Information Privacy Act, impacting that type of litigation in Illinois and beyond. At the heart of the case, Cothron v. White Castle Sys. Inc., is whether BIPA claims accrue each time a company violates the law or if only the first instance of violation constitutes a claim. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit’s decision will likely have wide-reaching implications, since additional claims mean greater damages, and a series of violations as opposed to just one stretches the law’s statute of limitations, attorneys and advocates say.

Biometric Data Collection System In Belarus Fully Operational (TVR, Sep 08, 2021)
More than 3 thousand applications for digital documents are already filed. The biometric data collection system has been fully functional since September. The ID cards are designed for use inside the country and biometric passports for going abroad. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, on the first day alone, more than 300 people applied to the departments of citizenship and migration for an ID card. Another 270 people expressed a desire to obtain a biometric passport. And at least 200 foreigners have applied for a biometric residence permit.


Connect ID: Conference & Exhibition: October 5 - 6, 2021 (Connect ID, Sep 08, 2021)
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC The Worl of Identity Under One Roof Opening times are: Tue 5 Oct | Conference: 08:50 - 17:15 • Exhibition: 09:00 - 18:00 Wed 6 Oct | Conference: 09:00 - 17:00 • Exhibition: 10:00 - 16:15 Connect:ID is a world class identity conference and exhibition, showcasing practical implementations of trusted identity solutions, and highlighting how disruptive technology and policy decisions are driving much needed change. Connect:ID is central to Governments, financial institutions, corporate end users, systems integrators, researchers, consultants, national and industry-focused media.


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