Speed Read

DOJ Funding Pipeline Subsidizes Questionable Big Data Surveillance Technologies (EconoTimes, Feb 08, 2024)
The National Institute of Justice, the DOJ’s research, development and evaluation arm, regularly provides seed money for grants and pilot projects to test out ideas like predictive policing. It was a National Institute of Justice grant that funded the first predictive policing conference in 2009 that launched the idea that past crime data could be run through an algorithm to predict future criminal risk. The institute has given US$10 million dollars to predictive policing projects since 2009.

The Sledgehammer Approach of Age Verification Tools Won't Make the Internet Safer (Euronews, Feb 08, 2024)
EDRi, along with many other civil society organisations, has been fighting biometric surveillance in the EU Artificial Intelligence Act and profiling of children’s behaviours online in the EU Digital Services Act. Yet with this new binding code, the Irish media regulator is preparing to force many large tech companies to process this sensitive data on a huge scale, to predict people’s ages. With many of these companies under the jurisdiction of Ireland, the impact of this code will be felt across Europe, affecting millions of people using services like Instagram and YouTube.

EU’s Prüm II Rolls On; Will it Roll Over Privacy Concerns? (Biometric Update, Feb 08, 2024)
The debate over an update to a biometrics-sharing agreement in the EU is simple enough. Either there’re no human rights without state security or human rights must yield for state security. Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson, who backs Prüm II, reportedly said in session that organized crime is as dangerous to the EU as is terrorism. From that point of view, the automated sharing of personal data, including biometrics among EU members and Europol (and maybe the United States), is a necessary new capability for crime fighters.

Nigeria, Togo to Require Biometric Digital ID for Loan Programs (Biometric Update, Feb 08, 2024)
West African nations Nigeria and Togo want to use their biometric digital ID systems for managing government loan schemes. In Nigeria, the federal government recently announced that their digital ID, known as the National Identification Number (NIN), will be needed when applying for a students loan. For their part, officials in Togo say they will rely on information in the biometric citizen registry to track and identify defaulting loanees under a government-led financial inclusion initiative.

Automakers Open Pandora’s Box with Facial Recognition (InsideHook, Feb 08, 2024)
Genesis, Korea’s nascent luxury brand and a driving force in the EV world, first brought facial recognition to market with its GV60 electric SUV, allowing drivers to unlock the vehicle with a smile. Ford, Sony and Honda have also announced plans to follow suit. In another implementation, many automakers already make use of attention-tracking technology that constantly scans the driver to determine their eye and face position and ensure that they are focused on the road ahead. This seemingly harmless safety feature gives them a foothold into further exploration of how biometric information could be harvested and used by the vehicle.


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