CPO Magazine: Illinois Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Facial Recognition Databases Violate Biometric Privacy Law, Could Cost Tech Giants $5,000 Per Incident

CPO Magazine: Illinois Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Facial Recognition Databases Violate Biometric Privacy Law, Could Cost Tech Giants $5,000 Per Incident. “The Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) made national news recently when it drove Clearview AI out of the state, due to a pending lawsuit over the company’s scraping of social media pictures and videos for its facial recognition database. It may now be a problem for some of tech’s biggest names as well. A new biometric privacy lawsuit has emerged that names Amazon, Google parent company Alphabet and Microsoft as violators of the state law as well.”

Special Report: Rite Aid deployed facial recognition systems in hundreds of U.S. stores (WTVB)

WTVB: Special Report: Rite Aid deployed facial recognition systems in hundreds of U.S. stores. “Over about eight years, the American drugstore chain Rite Aid Corp quietly added facial recognition systems to 200 stores across the United States, in one of the largest rollouts of such technology among retailers in the country, a Reuters investigation found. In the hearts of New York and metro Los Angeles, Rite Aid deployed the technology in largely lower-income, non-white neighborhoods, according to a Reuters analysis. And for more than a year, the retailer used state-of-the-art facial recognition technology from a company with links to China and its authoritarian government.”

CNET: Face masks are thwarting even the best facial recognition algorithms, study finds

CNET: Face masks are thwarting even the best facial recognition algorithms, study finds. “It turns out face masks aren’t just effective at preventing the spread of airborne diseases like COVID-19 — they’re also successful at blocking facial recognition algorithms, researchers say. In a report published Monday, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology found that face masks were thwarting even the most advanced facial recognition algorithms. Error rates varied from 5% to 50%, depending on an algorithm’s capabilities.”

TechCrunch: New York legislature votes to halt facial recognition tech in schools for two years

TechCrunch: New York legislature votes to halt facial recognition tech in schools for two years. “The state of New York voted this week to pause for two years any implementation of facial recognition technology in schools. The moratorium, approved by the New York Assembly and Senate Wednesday, comes after an upstate school district adopted the technology earlier this year, prompting a lawsuit in June from the New York Civil Liberties Union on behalf of parents. If New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signs the legislation into law, the moratorium would freeze the use of any facial recognition in school systems in the state until July 1, 2022.”

The Next Web: This AI uses emoji to protect BLM protestors from facial recognition

The Next Web: This AI uses emoji to protect BLM protestors from facial recognition. “If you’ve attended any of the recent Black Lives Matter protests, there’s a good chance you’ve been caught on camera. And if your image has been shared on social media, it could end up in a facial recognition database used by police…. These concerns led Stanford Machine Learning researchers to develop a new anonymization tool: the BLMPrivacyBot.”

ZDNet: Fawkes protects your identity from facial recognition systems, pixel by pixel

ZDNet: Fawkes protects your identity from facial recognition systems, pixel by pixel. “In a paper (.PDF) due to be presented at the USENIX Security 2020 symposium, researchers Shawn Shan, Emily Wenger, Jiayun Zhang, Huiying Li, Haitao Zheng, and Ben Zhao introduce ‘Fawkes,’ software designed to ‘help individuals inoculate their images against unauthorized facial recognition models.’ In what could be considered the introduction of garbage code and data to images we share online, Fawkes works at the pixel level to introduce imperceptible ‘cloaks’ to photos before they are uploaded to the Internet.”

CNET: Sens. Sanders, Warren, Wyden back national facial recognition ban bill

CNET: Sens. Sanders, Warren, Wyden back national facial recognition ban bill. “The bill was introduced in June by Reps. Ayanna Pressley and Pramila Jayapal and Sens. Ed Markey and Jeff Merkley. It calls for a complete ban on facial recognition use by law enforcement until Congress passes legislation to lift the moratorium. The US has seen a growing call from privacy and other groups to ban facial recognition across its cities, as well as concern about human rights issues from companies that provide the technology.”

The Guardian: Did you protest recently? Your face might be in a database

The Guardian: Did you protest recently? Your face might be in a database. “In recent weeks, millions have taken to the streets to oppose police violence and proudly say: ‘Black Lives Matter.’ These protests will no doubt be featured in history books for many generations to come. But, as privacy researchers, we fear a darker legacy, too. We know that hundreds of thousands of photos and videos of protesters have been recorded and uploaded online. They could remain there indefinitely, only to be dredged up decades later. It is for this reason that we must ask whether those photos could end up in a facial recognition database.”

Techdirt: Boston The Latest City To Ban Facial Recognition Use By Government Agencies

Techdirt: Boston The Latest City To Ban Facial Recognition Use By Government Agencies. “San Francisco led the way. Then the entire state of California followed suit. And on the other side of the country, a few smaller cities in Massachusetts did the same thing: banned facial recognition. It just makes sense. The tech that’s out there is as dangerous as it is unproven. Mostly known for its false positive rates, facial recognition software has shown it’s capable of amplifying existing biases into actionable ‘intel’ with the power to severely disrupt people’s lives.”

The Next Web: Boston bans government use of facial recognition

The Next Web: Boston bans government use of facial recognition. “Boston City Council has voted to ban the use of facial recognition by the municipality, joining a growing list of administrations to outlaw the tech. The decision comes amid a growing backlash against the software, which research shows consistently misidentifies people of color. An MIT study found that facial recognition algorithms designed by Microsoft, IBM, and Face++ made up to 35% more errors when detecting the gender of darker-skinned women. For light-skinned men, that error rate dropped was just 1%.”

CNN: Democratic lawmakers propose nationwide facial recognition ban

CNN: Democratic lawmakers propose nationwide facial recognition ban. “The legislation marks Congress’s most aggressive bid yet to curtail the use of face recognition, amid complaints by civil rights groups that the technology disproportionately misidentifies people of color. In the absence of a federal law addressing face recognition, state and local governments have taken it upon themselves to regulate the use of the tech, with cities including San Francisco and Boston passing their own bans.”

CNET: US government doesn’t know how it uses facial recognition in public housing

CNET: US government doesn’t know how it uses facial recognition in public housing. “Lawmakers want to regulate how facial recognition is being used, but the Department of Housing and Urban Development has a significant obstacle: it doesn’t keep track of how the surveillance technology can be used on its approximately 1.2 million households. In a letter from HUD to Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, the agency explained that it doesn’t know how many of its public housing programs use facial recognition or even how it’s allowed to be used.”

University of Massachusetts Amherst: Researchers Call for New Federal Authority to Regulate Facial Recognition Tech

University of Massachusetts Amherst: Researchers Call for New Federal Authority to Regulate Facial Recognition Tech. “A group of artificial intelligence experts, including computer vision researcher and lead author Erik Learned-Miller of the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s College of Information and Computer Sciences, recently proposed a new model for managing facial recognition technologies at the federal level. In a white paper titled, ‘Facial Recognition Technologies in the Wild: A Call for a Federal Office,’ the authors propose an FDA-inspired model that categorizes these technologies by degrees of risk and would institute corresponding controls.”

700 million men and boys: China builds mega DNA surveillance database (Sydney Morning Herald)

Sydney Morning Herald: 700 million men and boys: China builds mega DNA surveillance database. “Police have swept across the country since late 2017 to collect enough samples to build a vast DNA database, according to a new study published on Wednesday by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a research organisation, based on documents also reviewed by The New York Times. With this database, authorities would be able to track down a man’s male relatives using his blood, saliva or other genetic material.”

CNN: Amazon will temporarily stop providing its facial recognition software to police

CNN: Amazon will temporarily stop providing its facial recognition software to police. “Amazon said Wednesday it will stop providing its facial recognition technology to police forces for one year, amid questions about the company’s commitment to fighting systemic racism.”