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.”

New York Times: Wrongfully Accused by an Algorithm

New York Times: Wrongfully Accused by an Algorithm. “On a Thursday afternoon in January, Robert Julian-Borchak Williams was in his office at an automotive supply company when he got a call from the Detroit Police Department telling him to come to the station to be arrested. He thought at first that it was a prank.”

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.”

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.”

TechCrunch: IBM ends all facial recognition business as CEO calls out bias and inequality

TechCrunch: IBM ends all facial recognition business as CEO calls out bias and inequality. “IBM CEO Arvind Krishna announced today that the company would no longer sell facial recognition services, calling for a ‘national dialogue’ on whether it should be used at all. He also voiced support for a new bill aiming to reduce police violence and increase accountability.”

CNN: The ACLU sues Clearview AI, calling the tool an ‘unprecedented violation’ of privacy rights

CNN: The ACLU sues Clearview AI, calling the tool an ‘unprecedented violation’ of privacy rights. “The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Clearview AI, the maker of a facial-recognition tool used by law enforcement agencies across the country. The ACLU alleges that Clearview’s technology runs afoul of the 2008 Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, according to the complaint, filed Thursday in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.”

The Next Web: Algorithms associating appearance with criminality have a dark past

The Next Web: Algorithms associating appearance with criminality have a dark past. “‘Phrenology’ has an old-fashioned ring to it. It sounds like it belongs in a history book, filed somewhere between bloodletting and velocipedes. We’d like to think that judging people’s worth based on the size and shape of their skull is a practice that’s well behind us. However, phrenology is once again rearing its lumpy head. In recent years, machine-learning algorithms have promised governments and private companies the power to glean all sorts of information from people’s appearance.”

CNET: Your face mask selfies could be training the next facial recognition tool

CNET: Your face mask selfies could be training the next facial recognition tool. “Your face mask selfies aren’t just getting seen by your friends and family — they’re also getting collected by researchers looking to use them to improve facial recognition algorithms. CNET found thousands of face-masked selfies up for grabs in public data sets, with pictures taken directly from Instagram.”

The Next Web: Uber introduces AI to make sure its drivers wear face masks

The Next Web: Uber introduces AI to make sure its drivers wear face masks. “Uber is making face masks mandatory — and will use AI to ensure drivers follow the rules. From Monday, every time drivers go online they’ll have to take a selfie, which a computer vision algorithm will scan to check if they’re wearing a mask.”

Techdirt: How Much Data Does Clearview Gather On People? The Answer (Sadly) Will Not Surprise You.

Techdirt: How Much Data Does Clearview Gather On People? The Answer (Sadly) Will Not Surprise You.. “How much does Clearview gather on the average person? It’s tough to tell. Asking Clearview directly — at least in most of the US — will get you nothing. However, California’s privacy law (the California Consumer Privacy Act) mandates the disclosure of gathered personal data to requesters. That’s what Thomas Smith of OneZero did. And here’s what he got back.”

CNET: ACLU sues for records on facial recognition use at airports, border

CNET: ACLU sues for records on facial recognition use at airports, border. “The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Department of Homeland Security, as well as Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration, and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement after the agencies failed to provide public records on how they’re using facial recognition at airports and US borders.”

Seven Days Vermont: Vermont Sues ‘Dystopian’ Facial Recognition App Maker Clearview AI

Seven Days Vermont: Vermont Sues ‘Dystopian’ Facial Recognition App Maker Clearview AI. “The Attorney General’s Office filed suit against the face-search company on Tuesday, alleging its practice of scooping up billions of online images to build a facial recognition app violates Vermont’s consumer protection statute. The civil suit is also the first legal test of a provision in the state’s data broker law, which was the only one of its kind when passed in 2018.”