Face masks give facial recognition software an identity crisis

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As tech firms scramble to keep up with reality of coronavirus, some experts say users must change

It is an increasingly common modern annoyance: arriving at the front of the queue to pay in a shop, pulling out a smartphone for a hygienic contact-free payment, and staring down at an error message because your phone fails to recognise your masked face.

As more and more nations mandate masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus, technology companies are scrambling to keep up with the changing world. But some experts are warning that the change may have to start with users themselves.

Apple’s Face ID is the most well-known example of a consumer facial verification system. The technology, which uses a grid of infrared dots to measure the physical shape of a user’s face, secures access to the company’s iPhones and iPads, as well as other features such as Apple Pay.

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Artificial intelligence can make personality judgments based on photographs

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Russian researchers from HSE University and Open University for the Humanities and Economics have demonstrated that artificial intelligence is able to infer people’s personality from ‘selfie’ photographs better than human raters do. Conscientiousness emerged to be more easily recognizable than the other four traits. Personality predictions based on female faces appeared to be more reliable than those for male faces. The technology can be used to find the ‘best matches’ in customer service, dating or online tutoring.

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Clearview app lets strangers find your name, info with snap of a photo, report says

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It may not be long before you’ll have to forget about walking down the street anonymously, says a New York Times report.

 “Just a face in the crowd.” That figure of speech may one day need a footnote to explain it.

What if a stranger could snap your picture on the sidewalk then use an app to quickly discover your name, address and other details? A startup called Clearview AI has made that possible, and its app is currently being used by hundreds of law enforcement agencies in the US, including the FBI, says a Saturday report in The New York Times.

The app, says the Times, works by comparing a photo to a database of more than 3 billion pictures that Clearview says it’s scraped off Facebook, Venmo, YouTube and other sites. It then serves up matches, along with links to the sites where those database photos originally appeared. A name might easily be unearthed, and from there other info could be dug up online.

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Chinese citizens will soon need to scan their face before they can access internet services or get a new phone number

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: A display shows a facial recognition system during the 1st Digital China Summit at Strait International Conference and Exhibition Center on April 22, 2018 in Fuzhou, China. The summit is held from April 22 to 24, with the theme of ‘Let Informatization Drive Modernization, Speed Up the Construction of Digital China’. Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images

China’s 854 million internet users will soon need to use facial identification in order to apply for new internet or mobile services.

The Chinese government announced last month that telecommunications companies will need to scan users’ faces in order to verify their identities before they can access new services.

The new rule will apply from December 1.

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Gatwick Airport commits to facial recognition tech at boarding

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Gatwick first trialled facial-recognition-based checks at some of its departure gates last year

Gatwick has become the UK’s first airport to confirm it will use facial-recognition cameras on a permanent basis for ID checks before passengers board planes.

It follows a self-boarding trial carried out in partnership with EasyJet last year.

The London airport said the technology should reduce queuing times but travellers would still need to carry passports.

Privacy campaigners are concerned.

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The best reason for your city to ban facial recognition

 

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The technology isn’t ready. Society isn’t ready. And the law isn’t ready.

This week, San Francisco became the first major U.S. city to bar itself from using facial recognition systems. The city’s Board of Supervisors voted 8–1 on Tuesday to prohibit the police and other public agencies — though not private companies — from using the emerging technology in any form as part of a larger bill to regulate broader surveillance efforts.

Some cheered the move as a victory for privacy and civil liberties. Some criticized it as a blow to law enforcement and public safety. And cynics dismissed it as an empty gesture, given that San Francisco wasn’t using facial recognition technology in the first place. Continue reading… “The best reason for your city to ban facial recognition”

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San Francisco bans city use of facial recognition technology tools

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Pedestrians walk along Post Street in San Francisco. The city became the first in the United States to ban facial recognition technology by police and city agencies. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

Concerned that some new surveillance technologies may be too intrusive, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to ban the use of facial recognition tools by its police and other municipal departments.

The Board of Supervisors approved the Stop Secret Surveillance ordinance Tuesday, culminating a reexamination of city policy that began with the false arrest of Denise Green in 2014. Green’s Lexus was misidentified as a stolen vehicle by an automated license-plate reader. She was pulled over by police, forced out of the car and onto her knees at gunpoint by six officers. The city spent $500,000 to settle lawsuits linked to her detention.

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Chinese facial recognition system confuses bus ad with a jaywalker

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It illustrates one of the many issues with China’s surveillance culture.

There are many criticisms you can level at China’s growing reliance on facial recognition, including its absolute faith in technology: what happens if there’s a false positive? Unfortunately, we just saw an example of that in action. Police in the city of Ningbo have taken corrective action after the facial recognition system at a crosswalk mistakenly accused famous businesswoman Dong Mingzhu of jaywalking because she appeared in an ad on a passing bus. As with any other detected offender in the area, it posted both Dong’s name (incorrectly displaying her surname as “Ju”) and government ID.

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Singapore wants to add face-recognition surveillance to 110,000 lamp posts

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Singapore may be turning its island state into a surveillance state.

The nation plans to install cameras equipped with facial recognition technology to all 110,000 lamp posts around the city, making it easier than ever for the country to keep tabs on its citizens and visitors, Reuters reports. The so-called “Lamppost-as-a-Platform” pilot project will allow the government to “perform crowd analytics” and support anti-terror operations through “various kinds of sensors on the lampposts, including cameras that can support backend facial recognition capabilities,” according to a government spokesperson who spoke to Reuters.

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The future of surveillance: Watch this A.I. security camera spot a shoplifter

Whether it is facial recognition tech that is (allegedly) able to pick a wanted criminal out of a crowd of thousands or aerial drones which use image recognition smarts to predict fights before they take place, there is no doubt that we are living through a major paradigm shift for automated surveillance technology. But this kind of tech can have more grounded, everyday applications, too — like helping prevent shoplifters stealing goods from their local mom-and-pop corner store.

That is something seemingly demonstrated by a new artificial intelligence security camera called the “A.I. Guardman,” built by Japanese telecommunication company NTT East and startup Earth Eyes Corp. The camera uses a special pose detection system to identify behavior it deems to be suspicious. In the event that this kind of behavior is spotted, it sends an alert to the store owner’s smartphone, allowing them to take action.

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