amazon
Amazon Accidentally Makes Rock-Solid Case for Not Giving Its Face Recognition Tech to Police

Days after the ACLU released a damning report on Amazon’s face recognition product Rekognition, Amazon’s general manager of AI, Dr Matt Wood, countered its findings in a blog post. The ACLU used Rekognition to scan the faces of all 535 members of the US Congress, finding the software mistook 28 of them for suspected criminals. Dr Wood notes first that the ACLU doesn’t reveal its methodology or dataset in the report, then punctuates Amazon’s original response—that it encourages higher confidence thresholds for law enforcement. Read More >>

privacy
Canadian Malls Secretly Tracked Shoppers’ Age, Gender Using Facial Recognition Technology

Shoppers at the Chinook Centre, a mall in Calgary, Canada, have been unwittingly scanned by face recognition software. Read More >>

samsung
These Samsung Galaxy S10 Rumours Actually Sound Pretty Great

According to some under-the-radar news outlets, there’s a lot to look forward to when it comes to Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S10 smartphone. The rumoured device is expected to ship next year with a number of new features that would help it stand out in a world filled with iPhone X offspring and decent, low-cost phones. The host of upgrades may be exactly what Samsung needs, making the device more compelling than the S9, which didn’t do so hot earlier this year. Read More >>

surveillance
Amazon’s Plan to Scan Your Face Even Has Police Worried It’s Too Creepy, New Emails Show

Across the country, law enforcement agencies are teaming up with data firms to bring facial recognition to public spaces, including airports, schools, and even protests. Most of these efforts remain clouded in secrecy, but newly released documents from Oregon officials using Amazon’s facial recognition offer our clearest look yet into how cops and their tech partners are massaging the ugly truths of facial recognition, including frequent mismatches, its use on people not suspected of crimes, and how to sell the public on something so obviously creepy — a task even police aren’t sure they’re up to. Read More >>

privacy
Government Official Says It’s Too Expensive to Delete All the Mugshots of Innocent People in Police Databases

In 2012, a High Court ruling found that keeping the mugshots of innocent people in police databases was unlawful. But almost six years later, the Home Office has defended the continued retention of such images, saying, basically, the problem is too expensive to fix. Read More >>

facebook
Judge Clears Way for Major Class Action Suit Against Facebook Over Face Recognition

A US judge ruled last week that a class action lawsuit against Facebook over the company’s face recognition practices, with potentially millions of plaintiffs, can move forward to trial. Read More >>

surveillance
Chinese Police Say Face Recognition Identified Suspect Out of Crowd of 50,000

Chinese police say they used facial recognition to identify, then arrest a man attending a crowded concert in Nanchang, China’s third largest city. South China Morning Post reports that security cameras equipped with the software pinpointed the man out of the estimated 50,000 other people also in attendance at the concert. Read More >>

snapchat
Snapchat’s Long-Awaited iPhone X Lenses Won’t Make Me Forget Rihanna’s Decree

iPhone X owners who still use Snapchat are in for a pleasant surprise today. The camera company, famously annihilated by Rihanna after it approved an ad mocking domestic violence victims, is finally releasing its previously announced lenses designed for the iPhone X. The feature was teased nearly seven months ago, so it’s about time. Read More >>

facebook
Facebook’s New Face Recognition Features: What We Do (and Mostly Don’t) Know

Being on Facebook means being seen, and recently some users have spotted a News Feed alert describing several new face recognition features coming to the social network. The notification looks like this: Read More >>

ai
Even When Spotting Gender, Current Face Recognition Tech Works Better for White Dudes

A new review of face recognition software found that, when identifying gender, the software is most accurate for men with light skin and least accurate for women with dark skin. Joy Buolamwini, an MIT Media Lab researcher and computer scientist, tested three commercial gender classifiers offered as part of face recognition services. As she found, the software misidentified the gender of dark-skinned females 35 per cent of the time. By contrast, the error rate rate for light-skinned males was less than one percent. Read More >>

ai
China’s Dystopian Police State Arms Cops With Smart Glasses to Scan Everyone’s Faces

Chinese police have begun using glasses equipped with facial recognition-enabled cameras to spot fugitives travelling through train stations. Though Chinese police have said the glasses will spot people using fake IDs or travelling to avoid a warrant, many are concerned about China using the tech to target political advocates and minorities. China has been accused of using face recognition tech to “fence in” the Muslim Uighur minority in northwestern Xinjiang. Read More >>

drones
South Korea Preps Serious Anti-Drone Measures Ahead of Winter Olympics

Ahead of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korean officials are prepping a fleet of specially equipped tactical drones to deter terrorism. Korean outlets Hankyoreh and Yonhap report the fleet includes drones equipped with cameras, face recognition capabilities, and a “drone-catching drone” that will drop nets to disable suspicious UAVs. Read More >>

wtf
Finally, Facial Recognition for Cows is Here

Face recognition has spread from airports to football games to primary schools and now, farms and stables. An Irish computer vision company, Cargill and Cainthus, announced Wednesday that they’re piloting face recognition technology on cows starting this year. Privacy advocates may be less concerned by the threat of an encroaching bovine panopticon, but the worldwide pilot speaks to how both AI and face recognition technologies are slowly being embedded in all aspects of modern life. Read More >>

ai
Olympic Planners Want to Scan the Faces of Hundreds of Thousands at the 2020 Tokyo Games

According to The Japan Times, the organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics plan to use expansive face recognition software at the games, scanning and tracking the faces of hundreds of thousands of athletes, journalists, and officials. Sources close to Olympic officials told the newspaper that the technology won’t be used on spectators. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
Japanese Researchers Trick AI Into Thinking 3D-Printed Turtle Is a Rifle

Japanese researchers have used a startlingly simple exploit to trick object recognition AI into classifying a 3D-printed turtle as a rifle. Incredibly, they did it by changing a single pixel. Read More >>