Sen. Markey asks Clearview about law enforcement's facial-recognition tech use

(Jan 24, 2020) U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., has asked Clearview AI for information about the law enforcement agencies that have used its facial-recognition technology, CNET reports. In a letter to Clearview CEO Hoan Ton-That, Markey also asked about any past breaches and whether its systems identify children under the age of 13. "Clearview's product appears to pose particularly chilling privacy risks, and I am deeply concerned that it is capable of fundamentally dismantling Americans' expectation that they ca... Read More

Op-ed: DNA collection at US borders risks future of privacy

(Jan 24, 2020) In an op-ed for The New York Times, Professors Daniel Morales, Natalie Ram and Jessica Roberts write about the potential for "dystopia" as the U.S. rolls out DNA collection for detained immigrants at ports of entry. The trio argues the government program "took a decisive step toward collecting and tracking" not only for immigrants, but also potentially U.S. citizens in the future. "Anonymity can be of real social value. Being able to stay unknown enables people to do important things," the autho... Read More

OIPC considering investigation into ID scanners at liquor stores

(Jan 24, 2020) The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta is considering an investigation into a plan to install ID scanners in Edmonton liquor stores, the Edmonton Journal reports. Liquor retailer Alcanna plans to install ID scanners at some of its locations. OIPC Communications Manager Scott Sibbald said in an emailed statement the agency only learned of the plan through news reports. “We have at no point been consulted on this pilot project announced by Alcanna and PatronScan,” Sibbal... Read More

Telangana to test facial-recognition software at polls

(Jan 23, 2020) The Indian state of Telangana will test facial-recognition software to verify voters in an upcoming local election, Reuters reports. The Telangana State Election Commission said the technology will be used to “reduce impersonation cases” and voters’ photos will not be stored or used “for any other purpose.” It is the first time facial recognition will be used at the polls in India. “We think it will be an effective tool, and that it can be deployed more widely after this trial,” said Telangana S... Read More

Chinese association introduces guidelines for facial-recognition payments

(Jan 23, 2020) Biometric Update reports the Payment & Clearing Association of China introduced guidelines for facial-recognition payments. The guidelines require companies to encrypt facial-recognition data and store it separately from other information, such as bank numbers, according to the original report from Caixin Global. Organizations are not allowed to keep facial data following the completion of a transaction. Anli Partners Senior Partner Wang Xinyue said companies that use the technology should g... Read More

US Supreme Court will not review Facebook BIPA case

(Jan 22, 2020) The U.S. Supreme Court will not review Facebook's case over alleged violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, The Hill reports. Facebook has been accused of using its photo-tagging feature to identify users' faces and suggest names without consent. Facebook argued the class-action lawsuit should not continue, as the users did not prove the privacy violations constituted "real-world harm." The court ultimately disagreed with the tech company. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the ... Read More

Will NYT's facial-recognition story sway privacy debate?

(Jan 21, 2020) Over the weekend, The New York Times reported on a little-known company called Clearview AI. The startup has "devised a groundbreaking facial recognition app" that allows a user to "take a picture of a person, upload it and get to see public photos of that person, along with links to where those photos appeared." The app is now being used by more than 600 law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security. Its system includes a databa... Read More

How the Washington Privacy Act stacks up to the CCPA

(Jan 21, 2020) State lawmakers officially reintroduced the Washington Privacy Act Jan. 13, 2020. It is an updated version of the bill that stalled in the House of Representatives after a near unanimous vote moved it through the Senate. "Washington state’s efforts do not exist in a vacuum," writes Faegre Baker Daniels Associate and former IAPP Westin Research Fellow Mitchell Noordyke, CIPP/E, CIPP/US, CIPM. The original bill took inspiration from the California Consumer Privacy Act, and its influence is evident... Read More

Comparing the new Washington Privacy Act to the CCPA

(Jan 21, 2020) The Washington Senate Democratic Caucus announced the Washington Privacy Act, Senate Bill 6281, Jan. 13, 2020. It is an updated version of the bill that made significant progress in the Washington State Legislature in 2019 but failed to pass the House of Representatives after a near unanimous vote moved it through the Senate. The authors of the 2019 bill are committed to moving forward with this updated version for 2020 that takes a different approach to some of obstacles that stalled the 2019 ... Read More

Perspective: Will NYT's facial-recognition story sway privacy debate?

(Jan 21, 2020) The use and potential regulation of facial-recognition technology has heated up recently, particularly after The New York Times published an in-depth report over the weekend on a little-known company called Clearview AI. The startup has "devised a groundbreaking facial recognition app" that allows a user to "take a picture of a person, upload it and get to see public photos of that person, along with links to where those photos appeared." The story comes on the heels of a rumor that EU officials... Read More