Scanning Technologies

Facial recog firm slapped with huge fine

New York-based facial recognition company Clearview AI has been fined €20 million by Greece’s privacy authority and ordered to not only stop processing individuals’ biometrics but also delete all data collected to date. The ruling responds to a complaint filed in May 2021 by privacy organizations which also raised concerns in Austria, Britain, France and Italy. [node:read-more:link]

Biometrics boom almost inevitable

The burgeoning biometrics sector is being invited by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security showcase their capabilities to government and industry, mainly to contribute to DHS-led research aimed at enhancing verification. “We have seen tremendous innovation from the biometrics industry to adapt to new challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic,” a DHS official says. “It’s time to see if further innovation and improvement can be achieved to further reduce errors and provide more consistent and equitable performance.” [node:read-more:link]

Facial recog being investigated

Federal Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien and three provincial ombudsmen will investigate Canadian use of facial-recognition technology supplied by New York-based Clearview AI. Their probe is in response to reports that the company collects and uses personal data without consent, a potential breach of Canadian privacy laws. [node:read-more:link]

Renewed biometrics focus in U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security is planning another “biometric technology rally” with a view to having developers collectively test and accelerate emerging automated biometrics. Two earlier events tested tools individually but this year’s evidently will focus on identifying collaborative groups which would lead the DHS efforts. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian drones do COVID-19 surveillance

Unmanned aerial vehicles designed by Draganfly Inc. of Saskatoon have been deployed near New York City in a pilot project to detect the spread of COVID-19. Draganfly has been working with the University of Southern Australia to equip its drones with sensors that can measure from nearly 60 metres not only social distancing compliance, but also body temperature, heart and respiratory rates, and whether people are sneezing and coughing in crowds. [node:read-more:link]

COVID-19: iris scanning technology

Dubai International, the world’s busiest passenger terminal, has installed iris scanners in a bid to further reduce human contact in a travel world slammed by COVID-19. The scanned information is linked to the country’s facial recognition databases, obviating the need for paper documents. [node:read-more:link]

Europe wants to limit AI and biometrics

Some “unacceptable” uses of artificial intelligence would be banned in Europe under proposed rules announced today by the European Commission's rules. The draft ban would target “AI systems considered a clear threat to the safety, livelihoods and rights of people,” said the EC, which also has proposed stricter rules on law enforcement’s use of biometrics. [node:read-more:link]

Self-serve security screening?

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is reportedly considering the use of self-screening terminals as an answer to frequently long lines at airports. The technology could be made available through the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program which has more than nine million registered users. [node:read-more:link]

Privacy laws a challenge

The House of Representatives’ homeland security committee has been told that the private sector cannot protect its information technology supply chains without clear information about vendors to avoid. A senior USTelecom executive says the problem is that current laws discourage firms from sharing information about problematic suppliers. [node:read-more:link]

Facial recognition concerns

As the Transportation Security Agency ramps up the use of facial recognition technology at U.S. airports, one Democrat in Congress says he’d like a more measured approach. Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey has suggested to a Senate subcommittee that current TSA data protections are inadequate and a threat to civil liberties. [node:read-more:link]

Long-range biometrics

The U.S. intelligence community is said to be developing biometric identification systems which could single out individuals at a distance. Facial recognition and other biometrics technologies have improved in recent years but evidently are still prone to errors. [node:read-more:link]

Mixed feelings about biometrics

A new Pew Research Centre study indicates that although Americans are becoming more receptive to biometric scans and facial recognition technologies, their growing acceptance is so far limited to law enforcement’s use. They apparently are less trusting of the private sector. [node:read-more:link]

CBSA probed by privacy commissioner

The Canada Border Services Agency is the focus of an investigation by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner after a vehicle licence plate reader was subjected to a cyber attack in the U.S. this summer. Imagers of travellers and their vehicles had been collected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection with the Perceptics system which also is used by the CBSA. [node:read-more:link]

Politicians perceived as crooks

When photographs of every California state legislator was run through a facial-recognition program which matches facial images to a database of 25,000 criminals, 26 evidently were flagged as criminals. The American Civil Liberties Union of California ran the test as it presses for legislation to ban the technology in police body cameras. [node:read-more:link]

Finns boost satellite surveillance

A Helsinki-based startup company, Iceye, is using suitcase-size radar satellites to return images of objects smaller than a metre in size. That level of detail has until now has required satellites weighing a tonne or more and costing more than €100 million or some 50 times Iceye’s cost. [node:read-more:link]

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