Police in Maryland using drones, privacy advocates raise concerns

(Nov 18, 2019) Howard County police are the latest law enforcement agency in Maryland to use drones as Chief Lisa Myers said her department will launch a one-year “field test” of three unmanned aircraft, The Baltimore Sun reports. Drones have been used by police in Maryland to investigate crashes, photograph crime scenes and survey weather damage. The Howard County department said drones would be used in emergency situations and when it is believed “the drone will collect evidence relating to criminal activity... Read More

Free app can track, identify drones from smartphone

(Nov 14, 2019) Chinese drone maker DJI is developing a free app that would enable smartphones to identify and track a drone in flight, Reuters reports. Pending regulatory approval, the app would be released in 2020. Remote identification technology currently available requires purchase and equipment. “We’ve created a remote identification solution that works with what people already have,” DJI Vice President of Policy and Legal Affairs Brendan Schulman said. Those who raise concerns about drones committing pri... Read More

It’s 2019, so why are we still talking about opt-in consent?

(Nov 12, 2019) Once again, legislators are touting their opt-in consent bills as the revolutionary solution to all our privacy woes. Once again, they could not be more wrong. At a time when even our toasters are online, opt-in consent is a horse in a self-driving car world.   State Rep. David Santiago, R-Fla., announced in September 2019 that he is introducing a privacy bill that calls for opt-in consent because the “basic framework should always start with the opt-in option. All too often, and somewhere in s... Read More

FTC to host workshop on voice cloning tech

(Nov 5, 2019) The U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced it will explore voice cloning technologies in a workshop Jan. 28 in Washington. "You Don’t Say: An FTC Workshop on Voice Cloning Technologies" will dive into development and use of the technology, speech synthesis and ethical concerns the tech poses. Discussions will work to reveal both the benefits and potential pitfalls that come with voice cloning.Full Story... Read More

Sidewalk Labs to move forward with Toronto smart-city project

(Nov 1, 2019) Sidewalk Labs announced it will move forward with the Waterfront Toronto smart-city project, TechCrunch reports. Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto agreed to limit the scope of the project and for Sidewalk to work closely with oversight agencies as the 12 acres of land designated to the effort is built. The agreement did not address what will be done with citizens’ data once it is collected. Sidewalk Labs had said earlier this year it does not sell personal data to advertisers.Full Story... Read More

Mozilla, Element AI partner on ethical artificial intelligence

(Oct 30, 2019) Mozilla and Element AI are partnering to support ethical use of artificial intelligence and give individuals more control over their information, ZDNet reports. “Mozilla and Element AI hope to create data trust tools able to replace the current ‘broken consent-based system of data collection,’” the article states. The AI approach to measuring and maintaining data is proposed to “balance power and data rights between companies, governments, and individuals; to enhance privacy, and to give the pub... Read More

Apple update makes Siri privacy improvements

(Oct 29, 2019) A new iPhone software update includes two privacy-related changes to the Siri voice assistant, CNBC reports. With the iOS 13.2 update, users can opt out of having their voice commands stored and saved, which Apple uses to “grade” voice recognition to improve software. Users can also choose to have Siri voice recordings stored on Apple’s servers deleted. The changes follow a report in August that contractors were hired by Apple to listen to a percentage of Siri commands.Full Story... Read More

Lawmaker asks tech companies to address 'eavesdropping' smart speaker apps

(Oct 28, 2019) U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., has asked Google and Amazon about how they vet applications running on their smart speakers, The Hill reports. In a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Dingell writes she is concerned the devices are "eavesdropping" on users without their consent. Dingell added she would like the tech companies to address apps that can not only listen in on users, but also "phish for their passwords." Meanwhile, concerns have been raised that a bill to... Read More

Facebook develops AI tool for deidentification

(Oct 28, 2019) Facebook AI Research has published a white paper explaining its development of an artificial intelligence system that deidentifies individuals in videos, VentureBeat reports. The AI, which uses an "encoder-decoder" model to create a mask and an image, has reportedly various facial-recognition systems. "Face recognition can lead to loss of privacy and face replacement technology may be misused to create misleading videos," Facebook wrote in the paper. "Our contribution is the only one suitable fo... Read More

Employers using AI tech to help determine 'employability'

(Oct 25, 2019) The Washington Post reports organizations across the U.S. are increasingly using HireVue's artificial intelligence–based technology to assess whether job candidates are a fit for their businesses. HireVue's system uses mobile device cameras to analyze prospective employees' facial movements, word choice and speaking voice before comparing the results to those of other candidates to form a ranking system for how qualified a person is for a position. AI Now Institute Co-Founder Meredith Whittaker ... Read More