Proposed US federal law bans use of facial-recognition tech in public housing

(Jul 23, 2019) CNET reports U.S. federal lawmakers are expected to introduce a bill this week that would ban public housing units that receive funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development from using facial-recognition technology. Reps. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., are the co-sponsors of the No Biometric Barriers to Housing Act. Under the proposed legislation, HUD would be required to submit a report outlining the impact facial recognition has on t... Read More

China's biggest private sector company embraces data

(Jul 23, 2019) Ping An, China’s second-largest insurer and the country’s largest private sector company by revenue, now spans finance, health care, autos, real estate and smart cities and relies on a team of artificial intelligence experts and data scientists as much as it does insurance managers. Pin An Deputy CEO ­Jessica Tan says the company’s advantage is its ability to “connect to the full picture” with online and offline data. The article highlighted how Chinese culture and its interpretation of privacy ... Read More

Op-ed: FaceApp uncovers vulnerabilities in privacy laws

(Jul 22, 2019) In an op-ed for The Atlantic, Yale Law School Information Society Project Fellow Tiffany Li writes that the resurrection of FaceApp is raising privacy concerns and testing privacy legislation; however, the issues "aren't unique" and go beyond the one app. "FaceApp is not the only app with weak privacy protections. It’s not even the only photo-editing app with weak privacy protections," Li writes, alluding to Snapchat, Instagram and China’s Meitu as other examples. Li goes on to discuss how tech ... Read More

DNA testing creates predicaments for family historians

(Jul 22, 2019) The popularity of DNA testing has created an unexpected dilemma for family historians, The Wall Street Journal reports. There are millions of family trees online, and some DNA-testing sites allow members to reach out to each other through a built-in messaging app. While there are benefits to this, today's family historian now has to "juggle the privacy of their relatives, some of whom don't want to be involved, alongside the curiosity of strangers who arrive with evidence that they are part of t... Read More

Digital map identifies where US government is using facial-recognition tech

(Jul 22, 2019) Digital rights advocacy group Fight for the Future released a digital map detailing how U.S. law enforcement agencies use facial-recognition technology to scan photos without the knowledge or consent of individuals, Vox reports. The map is comprised of data pulled from the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law, news reports, news releases and other sources. Examples include states where the Federal Bureau of Investigation uses facial-recognition tech to scan Department of Motor Vehi... Read More

Hong Kong limits functions on new smart lampposts

(Jul 18, 2019) Smart lampposts being deployed in Hong Kong will be used with limited features as the government responds to privacy concerns, the Hong Kong Free Press reports. The government is deactivating a function that detects vehicle speed using Bluetooth-device recognition, another that detects car types using license plate recognition, and one that monitors the dumping of industrial waste at blackspots. “We do not have any functions for facial recognition… even for traffic snapshots, we will decrease th... Read More

UK home secretary approves facial-recognition trials by police

(Jul 18, 2019) BBC News reports U.K. police forces have the backing of Home Secretary Sajid Javid to continue trialing automated facial-recognition software. The approval comes while privacy advocates continue to question the software's accuracy and take issue with its unregulated use. Javid explained that expanding the software's use beyond minimizing crime will require further government consideration. "If they want to take it further it's also right that they come to government, we look at it carefully and ... Read More

EDPB seeks comments on its guidelines on data processing through video

(Jul 18, 2019) The European Data Protection Board is asking for comments on its recently adopted guidelines for processing personal data using video devices. The guidelines clarify many questions involving video surveillance, including that organizations using surveillance must explicitly notify subjects that they are doing so while also providing a detailed purpose for the technology's use. The legal use of surveillance is also spelled out as the most common purposes are legitimate interest and necessary "in ... Read More

FaceApp's viral return comes with data security concerns

(Jul 18, 2019) FaceApp, an artificial intelligence–powered photo-editing app, recently resurfaced and brought privacy issues with it, TechCrunch reports. The app has possible vulnerabilities related to its consent mechanism, along with unclear details regarding data uploads. Users are allowed to block the app from accessing their phones' camera rolls, but the app has the ability to override the mechanism. The Russian-based app does not clearly state if the data processing goes on locally. U.S. Senate Minority ... Read More

India stirs privacy concerns with proposed Aadhaar, health records merge

(Jul 17, 2019) A proposal to combine India's Aadhaar identification system and the country's health system into one database is drawing backlash from privacy advocates. The proposed merger was announced by India's Health Ministry in its National Digital Health Blueprint report, which is now open for public consultation. The ministry is aiming to boost India's health system while streamlining access to both personal and health records. The privacy concerns stem from prior issues with Aadhaar safeguards and the ... Read More