August 9, 2019 MDG

Privacy Updates

London’s King’s Cross using facial recognition in security cameras [ft] Canary Wharf Group, the company that owns both private offices and public spaces in the area, is actively speaking to facial recognition suppliers to pilot the technology in an area traversed by 140,000 people daily, as part of its security systems.

British ethicists are challenging justice by algorithm [economist] Several use programs to predict where and when crimes are likely to occur. Cambridge University helped Durham Constabulary design an algorithm to estimate the likelihood of a suspect reoffending. It helps the authorities decide whether someone should be granted bail or qualify for rehabilitation as an alternative to prosecution. At least one force is keen to install microphones on “smart lamp-posts” to gather intelligence in crowds

Court rules Arizona residents have right to internet privacy [ArizonaTimes] Arizonans have a constitutional right to online privacy to keep police from snooping around to find out who they are without first getting a warrant, the state Court of Appeals has ruled. In what appears to be the first ruling of its kind in the state, the majority said Internet users have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” that the information they furnish about themselves to Internet providers will be kept secret. That specifically includes who they are and their home address.

This Tesla Mod Turns a Model S Into a Mobile ‘Surveillance Station’ [wired] At the Defcon hacker conference today, security researcher Truman Kain debuted what he calls the Surveillance Detection Scout. The DIY computer fits into the middle console of a Tesla Model S or Model 3, plugs into its dashboard USB port, and turns the car’s built-in cameras—the same dash and rearview cameras providing a 360-degree view used for Tesla’s Autopilot and Sentry features—into a system that spots, tracks, and stores license plates and faces over time. The tool uses open source image recognition software to automatically put an alert on the Tesla’s display and the user’s phone if it repeatedly sees the same license plate. 

Patel v. Facebook Opinion Federal Court Rules Facebook Users Can Sue Company Over Unlawful Use of Face Recognition Technology The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled today that Facebook users can sue the company over its use of face recognition technology. The ruling is the first decision of an American appellate court directly addressing the unique privacy harms posed by the face recognition technology being increasingly pushed on members of the public without their knowledge and consent. [aclu]

I Tried Hiding From Silicon Valley in a Pile of Privacy Gadgets – Within three weeks, I got tired of being careful. My faraday bag is somewhere in the back of my car, because I like to use my phone for GPS and playing podcasts. I stopped wearing my Reflectacles in public. I haven’t scrubbed my old tweets away with Jumbo in a while. I use my Visa to buy stuff from Amazon, which it delivers to my house. I plugged Alexa back in. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

Moratorium requested for Lockport facial recognition system [lockportjournal] The New York Civil Liberties Union has asked the New York State Education Department to place a moratorium the use of a facial recognition system in Lockport schools. The request comes less than 24 hours after the Lockport School Board approved revisions to the district’s policy for the application of the system. The revised policy included several changes from the original version. The major change eliminates the possibility of suspended student being added to the database tied to the system unless their actions are deemed by law enforcement to constitute a legitimate threat.

Facial Recognition Software Prompts Privacy, Racism Concerns in Cities and States [PEW] The study found live cameras were tracking the movements of tenants in apartment buildings and even patients coming and going from a medical center, which Detroit Police Chief James Craig denied in an interview with Stateline. Craig said his department does not use facial recognition software to track people.number of constitutional protections that limit what the government can do.”