science
It’s Surprisingly Easy to Trick People With a Disguise, Sneaky Study Finds

It could be much easier to pull off the perfect heist than you think. According to a new study from the UK, you don’t need to disguise yourself much in order to fool the average person into thinking they’re looking at someone else. It might even take as little as a goth makeover. Read More >>

facial recognition
Man Hiding Face From Police Facial Recognition Test Fined for Telling Cops to ‘Piss Off’

On Thursday, Metropolitan Police trialled a face recognition system in the East London town of Romford. The technology led to three arrests, according to The Independent. One individual was fined after an altercation that reportedly stemmed from his response to the facial recognition technology. Read More >>

security
Protesters Picket London Police’s Facial Recognition Van

This very out of place, unmarked, bright green, coned-off van bang in the middle of London's tourist and shopping district is rightly arousing suspicions, not because people think it might be packed with terrorists psyching themselves up enough to leap out and make everyone spill their festive lattes in shock, but because we know it's the Met Police testing mass surveillance/facial recognition technology on the ruddy-cheeked festive passers-by. Read More >>

ai
What’s Up With That Story About Secret Face-Scanning Tech at a Taylor Swift Show?

At a Taylor Swift concert earlier this year, fans were reportedly treated to something they might not expect: a kiosk displaying clips of the pop star that served as a covert surveillance system. It’s a tale of creeping 21st-century surveillance as unnerving as it is predictable. But the whole ordeal has left us wondering what the hell is going on. Read More >>

amazon
US Lawmakers Ask Jeff Bezos for Information on His Facial Recognition Software, Less Nicely This Time

Late in July, American lawmakers sent a letter seeking details on Rekognition, Amazon’s in-house facial recognition software. Amazon wrote back, blandly, in August, but according to this increasingly impatient group of congresspeople, the company “has failed to provide sufficient answers.” Read More >>

facial recognition
London Tech Trial Will 3D Scan Passengers To See If They’ve Touched In

Updated 27/11: a previous version of this article incorrectly stated that facial recognition would be trialled in London. This is not the case. The article has now been updated to restore accuracy. Read More >>

amazon
New Documents Show Amazon’s Face-Scanning Tech for Cops Was a Headache From the Start

Earlier this year, Amazon’s facial recognition tech Rekognition—which can scan photos and videos and match them against databases of faces—faced a flood of criticism from Amazon employees, shareholders, and civil rights activists who argued that its use by government agencies was unethical or even dangerous. That backlash was spurred by an ACLU report showing how Amazon was working with law enforcement in America to market its surveillance tech—and now new documents provide more insight into how Amazon is giving this controversial tool to police. Read More >>

ai
British Supermarkets Will Test Using Facial Recognition to Verify Alcohol Buyers’ Age, Report Claims

Select self-service checkouts at British supermarkets will “very soon” be equipped with cameras and facial recognition software, according to the Telegraph. They’ll reportedly use tech from the startup Yoti to determine if a shopper is old enough to buy alcohol and cigarettes without forcing them to “register their identity in advance.” Read More >>

facial recognition
FBI Makes Child Porn Suspect Unlock iPhone X Using His Face 

In August, federal agents in the US state of Ohio made a suspect unlock his iPhone X using his face, in what may be the first instance of law enforcement using such a tactic. Read More >>

facial recognition
Axon CEO Says Face Recognition Isn’t Accurate Enough for Body Cams Yet

Face recognition is coming to schools, stadiums, and airports, but surprisingly not to body cameras—yet. On an earnings call Tuesday, Rick Smith, CEO of Axon, one of the largest body camera manufacturers in the US, said the reason was simple: In addition to privacy and policy concerns, face recognition isn’t accurate enough. Read More >>

facial recognition
Can We Make Non-Racist Face Recognition?

As companies race to employ facial recognition everywhere from major league ballparks to schools , we face tough questions about the technology’s potential to intensify racial bias; Commercial face recognition software has repeatedly been shown to be less accurate on people with darker skin, and civil rights advocates worry about the disturbingly targeted ways face-scanning can be used by police. Read More >>

novichok
Police Identify Two Russian Suspects in Novichok Poisonings Using Facial Recognition Tech

British police have reportedly identified two suspects in the nerve agent poisonings that left one person dead and three others injured. The suspects were identified after UK police combed through “months” of surveillance footage at British airports, as well as security camera footage from around Salisbury. Read More >>

microsoft
Microsoft ‘Improves’ Racist Facial Recognition Software

In a self-congratulatory move, Microsoft announced some major improvements yesterday to its fundamentally biased facial recognition software. The Azure-based Face API was criticised in a research paper earlier this year for its error rate—as high as 20.8 per cent—when attempting to identify the gender of people of colour, particularly women with darker skin tones. In contrast, Microsoft’s AI was able to identify the gender of photos of “lighter male faces” with an error rate of zero per cent, the study concluded. Read More >>

amazon
Amazon Shareholders Call for Jeff Bezos to Stop Selling Facial Recognition to Police

On Friday, 20 groups of Amazon shareholders sent CEO Jeff Bezos a letter pressuring him to stop selling the company’s face recognition software to American law enforcement, CNN reports. Called Rekognition, the software came under greater scrutiny last month when the ACLU published revealing internal documents related to its use by police. Numerous civil rights organisations co-signed a letter demanding Amazon stop assisting government surveillance, and several members of the US Congress have expressed concerns about the partnerships. Read More >>

police
Facial Recognition Used by Wales Police Has 90 Per cent False Positive Rate

According to the Guardian, the South Wales police scanned the crowd of more than 170,000 people who travelled to the nation’s capital for the football match between Real Madrid and Juventus. The cameras identified 2,470 people as criminals. Read More >>