CNIL releases report on facial recognition

(Nov 18, 2019) France’s data protection authority, the CNIL, has released a report on facial-recognition technology. The agency published the report to shed light on the debates and discussions about facial recognition. The document covers what facial recognition is and what it is used for; the technological, ethical and societal risks associated with the technology; what the CNIL’s role should be as new facial-recognition devices are deployed; and the frameworks covering the technology that must be respected ... Read More

Sens. unveil bill to limit federal law enforcement's facial-recognition use

(Nov 15, 2019) U.S. Sens. Chris Coons, D-Del., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, have introduced the Facial Recognition Technology Warrant Act, which seeks to cut the use of facial-recognition software by law enforcement agencies, CNET reports. The bill would require the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other agencies to obtain warrants for surveillance activities that use facial recognition. The law would also place limits on data collection from facial-recognition use. "This bipar... Read More

NYPD deletes unlawfully stored juvenile fingerprints

(Nov 15, 2019) The New York City Police Department unlawfully maintained a database of thousands of juvenile fingerprints, despite New York law that mandates authorities destroy the data, The Washington Post reports. A review by the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services found the NYPD needed to destroy arrest-related documents for 5,000 children. The department destroyed the data following a years-long battle with the Legal Aid Society and said in a statement it “conceded a change in its retention pol... Read More

Grocery chain owner considers facial-recognition payment system

(Nov 15, 2019) Toronto-based businessman Wei Chengyi is considering introducing facial-recognition payment systems at his Foody Mart grocery stores in Ontario and British Columbia, the National Post reports. The technology would capture an image of the shopper’s face that is linked to their account and allows them to make a purchase without a card, cash or phone. Privacy and human-rights activists have raised concerns over use of the technology. “It’s simply asking too much of people to trade their facial imag... Read More

Indian Railways proposes facial recognition to identify criminals

(Nov 14, 2019) A proposal by Indian Railways would implement facial recognition at train stations to identify criminals, TechRadar reports. The facial-recognition technology would be used to identify individuals through Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems databases. It would also recognize suspicious behavior, like people who appear visibly nervous or travel long distance without luggage. The Internet Freedom Foundation said the proposal is illegal as India has no privacy protection law in place. “... Read More

Inherently identifiable: Is it possible to anonymize health and genetic data?

(Nov 13, 2019) Nearly 25 million people have taken an at-home DNA testing kit and shared that data with one of four ancestry and health databases. With this proliferation of genetic testing and biometric data collection, there should be an increased scrutiny of the practices used to deidentify this data. Biometric data, namely genetic information and health records, is innately identifiable. This article looks at whether biometric data can ever truly be anonymized, the methods of deidentification and best prac... Read More

Can biometric data truly be anonymized?

(Nov 13, 2019) Nearly 25 million people have taken an at-home DNA testing kit and shared that data with one of four ancestry and health databases. “With this proliferation of genetic testing and biometric data collection, there should be an increased scrutiny of the practices used to deidentify this data,” Santa Clara University Juris Doctor Candidate Justin Banda, CIPP/US, writes in this piece for Privacy Perspectives. Banda looks at whether biometric data can ever truly be anonymized, as well as deidentifica... Read More

Organization says collecting immigration detainees’ DNA violates privacy rights

(Nov 13, 2019) Human Rights Watch said a proposal by the U.S. Department of Justice to collect DNA samples from immigration detainees violates privacy rights and should be withdrawn. In a response to the DOJ’s request for comments on the proposal, the organization said it violates privacy rights of “hundreds of thousands of people, including children and asylum-seekers.” The response stated collected samples would be stored in a national database, and detainees will be unable to request deletion of their DNA. ... Read More

Security breach at DNA-testing firm exposes user data

(Nov 11, 2019) Bloomberg reports a security breach at Veritas Genetics included customer information, but the DNA-testing firm did not say what information was exposed or when it became aware of the breach. Veritas said a handful of customers were potentially affected by the recent unauthorized access of a customer-facing portal. The company said genetic data, DNA-test results and health records were not contained on the portal. The company has launched a forensic investigation and will notify potentially impa... Read More

Air Force awards facial-recognition contract to Trueface

(Nov 8, 2019) The U.S. Air Force has awarded a contract to Trueface for facial-recognition technology to help enhance base security, Biometric Update reports. By January 2020, Trueface’s facial and license plate recognition and weapon detection capabilities will be used at military bases. The technology will also speed up the process of getting onto military bases for visitors and personnel.Full Story... Read More