Speed Read

Police Facial Recognition Technology Can’t Tell Black People Apart (Scientific American, May 18, 2023)
Our research supports fears that facial recognition technology (FRT) can worsen racial inequities in policing. We found that law enforcement agencies that use automated facial recognition disproportionately arrest Black people. We believe this results from factors that include the lack of Black faces in the algorithms’ training data sets, a belief that these programs are infallible and a tendency of officers’ own biases to magnify these issues.

Facial Recognition Shows Up in Public Housing, Small Cities (Biometric Update, May 18, 2023)
The race to make biometric surveillance commonplace is only getting faster, with systems going up in public housing and municipalities far from city crime. With the growth comes a mission that residents worldwide have often been told is off the table, that of the all-seeing, always analyzing sentinel that never stops recording what happens in the community. The issue is again in the news, this time following a lengthy article in The Washington Post reporting on facial recognition systems being used in United States public housing.

Arlington Co. to Outfit Jail Inmates with Biometric Wrist Monitors (WTOP News, May 18, 2023)
The new devices can be worn on the wrist or ankle. Custody Protect, the technology 4sight will employ, uses biosensors on individuals that can detect heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration, motion and location through technology. All of this data is processed through artificial intelligence in real-time to detect risks to health and safety.

UK's GDPR Replacement Could Wipe Out Oversight of Live Facial Recognition (The Register, May 19, 2023)
Biometrics and surveillance camera commissioner Professor Fraser Sampson has warned that independent oversight of facial recognition is at risk just as the policing minister plans to "embed" it into the force. The warning lands a day after Sampson, a solicitor specializing in policing law, wrote to the committee overseeing the second take on the bill the government hopes will replace the UK's implementation of GDPR.

Online Safety Bill’s Tech Could Turn Phones into Surveillance Tools (Mirage News, May 19, 2023)
The new research shows it would be possible for governments to use CSS to search people’s private messages, for example performing facial recognition, without their knowledge. The Online Safety Bill is currently being reviewed in the UK parliament. CSS is also part of an EU proposal which, if passed, could mandate its installation on hundreds of millions of phones. It has already been developed in the US by companies like Apple.

Mining Children: Why Dataveillance in the Name of Education or Health Must Stop (The Wire, May 19, 2023)
Diane Ravitch, a professor at New York University and former Assistant Secretary of Education, wrote about this on her blog: ‘There is reason to be concerned about the degree of wisdom – or lack thereof – that informs the decisions of the world’s richest and most powerful foundations. And yes, we must worry about what part of our humanity is inviolable… what part of our humanity is off-limits to those who wish to quantify our experience and use it for their own purposes, be it marketing or teacher evaluation.’ She warned that this aligned with the US Department of Education’s huge investment in ‘data warehouses’, which would amass children’s vital statistics from birth to everything thereafter.

Many Android Phones Can Be Unlocked with a Photo (Forbes, May 19, 2023)
According to consumer body Which?, scammers can bypass the screen lock on certain Android phones and access sensitive information. Researchers tested 48 phones and found that 19 could be unlocked with a photo⁠—even a low-resolution one printed on normal paper⁠—of the owner. Most of the affected phones were at the lower end of the market, such as the £89.99 Motorola Moto E13. However, others included the £1,000 Motorola Razr 2022. Xiaomi, meanwhile, had seven models that could be exploited, while Motorola had four, Nokia, Oppo and Samsung had two and Honor and Vivo had one affected model each.


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