August 23, 2019 MDG

Privacy Digest

EU plans sweeping regulation of facial recognition [FT] The aim would be to limit “the indiscriminate use of facial recognition technology’’ by companies and public authorities, said an official. Under the plan, European citizens would be given the powers to “know when [facial recognition] data is used”, with any exceptions “tightly circumscribed” to ensure appropriate use, said the source. 

Regulation would be a life raft for live facial recognition — we need a ban [medium] We’ve discovered that shopping centres, museums, conference centres, casinos, bars — even convenience stores — are now using live facial recognition cameras in the UK. The two major shopping centres that have used live facial recognition — Manchester’s Trafford Centre and Sheffield’s Meadhowhall — have such an enormous footfall, they could have scanned around 17 million faces alone

Customers Handed Over Their DNA. The Company Let the FBI Take a Look. [WSJ] Millions of consumers have bought home-test kits, including 1.5 million from FamilyTreeDNA. How that data is used is largely left up to the companies. (ED NOTE: Do note give up your DNA – passwords can get changed you can’t change your face or DNA ever)

Building a more private web [Google] So we are doing something different. We want to find a solution that both really protects user privacy and also helps content remain freely accessible on the web. At I/O, we announced a plan to improve the classification of cookies, give clarity and visibility to cookie settings, as well as plans to more aggressively block fingerprinting. We are making progress on this, and today we are providing more details on our plans to restrict fingerprinting. Collectively we believe all these changes will improve transparency, choice, and control.. (ED NOTE: WTF classification of hostile cookies is not the answer – but here we have a Google product manger making more of an effort than the entire ‘self regulating’ advertising industry over the last decade)

Face Recognition Lets Palestinians Cross Israeli Checkposts Fast, But Raises Concerns [NPR] The number of Palestinians in the biometric database is rapidly increasing. Out of the approximately 2.7 million Palestinians living in the West Bank, Israeli defense officials said about 450,000 possess electronic ID cards and have their photos stored in the biometric database, up from a reported 383,000 in May.

Israel is also building a biometric database of its own citizens and uses facial recognition technology at its international airport to identify Israeli travelers at passport control.