UK officials, privacy groups call for end to live FRT surveillance

(Sep 18, 2019) Politicians and privacy groups in the U.K. have joined a letter penned by privacy advocate group Big Brother Watch that calls for an end to live facial-recognition surveillance by police and private companies, BBC News reports. In all, 18 politicians and 25 organizations signed the letter, which states that facial recognition is being applied to the U.K. without proper examination and consultation by government officials. "What we're doing is putting this to government to say: 'Please can we ope... Read More

Sen. Warner seeks answers on CBP biometric data breach

(Sep 17, 2019) U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., has asked for more information on a pair of data breaches in which biometric information was compromised, The Hill reports. Warner sent a letter to acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan about the data breach his agency suffered in June. Hackers were able to steal more than 100,000 images of travelers in the incident. “It is absolutely critical that federal agencies and industry improve their track records, especially when handling and process... Read More

Police facial-recognition tech, real-time results stirring privacy concerns in UK

(Sep 17, 2019) Skepticism is growing in the U.K. regarding police surveillance that yields real-time results of facial-recognition scans, The New York Times reports. The accuracy of the scans is arguably the greatest concern raised by U.K. citizens, lawmakers and privacy advocates. Members of Parliament sought to place a temporary ban on facial recognition when police use was approved in July. According to a new report from government officials, U.K. police are also wavering on using the tech based on its pote... Read More

Calif. State Assembly approves 3-year hold on FRT-enabled bodycams

(Sep 16, 2019) Reuters reports the California State Legislature has approved a bill that prohibits state or local law enforcement from wearing bodycams with facial-recognition software. Following approval by the California State Senate a day earlier, the State Assembly voted 42-18 in favor of the bill, which needs confirmation from Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif. The technology will only be available for officers to blur faces to protect privacy when video footage is disclosed to the public. “If you install softwa... Read More

Gujarat installs facial-recognition tech in 40K schools

(Sep 12, 2019) The Hindu reports Gujarat, India, has added facial-recognition technology in 40,000 schools for attendance monitoring. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said the technology will be used to help limit teacher absenteeism and is likely to be installed with other government agencies soon to do the same for government employees. Teachers are concerned about the tech's privacy, but Education Secretary Vinod Rao denied that any data collection would be shared with other government agencies or third parties.... Read More

Danish soccer club uses facial recognition to find banned attendees

(Sep 12, 2019) A Danish soccer club has installed facial-recognition technology to spot fans who have been banned from matches, The Wall Street Journal reports. Brondby IF uses security cameras and facial-recognition software developed by Panasonic to identify fans who have been placed on a blacklist after they have been thrown out of games. The club had to receive permission from the Danish data protection authority in order to use the technology. The stadium must be transparent about its data-processing acti... Read More

China to address facial recognition, apps in schools

(Sep 12, 2019) BBC News reports Chinese Ministry of Education Director of Science and Technology Lei Chaozi has vowed to limit and regulate the use of facial-recognition software and other apps in schools. Chaozi voiced the ministry's stance after privacy concerns were raised regarding a Chinese university beginning a pilot program for tech that could monitor student attendance and behaviors. "We need to be very careful when it comes to students' personal information," Chaozi said. "Don't collect it if it's no... Read More

Calif. State Senate passes 3-year moratorium on use of facial recognition on bodycams

(Sep 12, 2019) The California State Senate passed a three-year moratorium on police use of facial-recognition technology, Wired reports. The bill still needs to be approved by the state assembly, as well as get the governor’s approval before it becomes law. Specifically, the bill bans the use of facial-recognition algorithms in real time and in forensic analysis of footage. Privacy advocates applaud the measure but would prefer a ban instead of a moratorium, citing concerns tech companies will use the moratori... Read More

Moroccan DPA puts temporary ban on facial-recognition tech

(Sep 11, 2019) The National Commission for the Control of Personal Data Protection in Morocco has announced a seven-month freeze on the use of facial-recognition software. The ban is in effect for public and private use of the technology, which the CNDP says is up for debate in an extended public consultation. "As part of the exercise of its mission to protect individuals with regard to the processing of their personal data, the CNDP has agreed on the need to regulate and strictly control the use of this techn... Read More

Facebook asks US court to reconsider class-action on biometric privacy

(Sep 9, 2019) MediaPost reports Facebook is trying to convince a federal appellate court to rethink its decision on an Illinois class-action privacy suit over its biometric database. In August, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Illinois ruled a $35 billion class-action suit against Facebook for violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act could proceed. The social network is now arguing users who filed the suit never alleged they were harmed by the facial-recognition software. "They do ... Read More