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  • Facial recognition in Moscow
  • Voting by smartphone in WV
  • Coronavirus and face masks
  • Facial recognition and baby monitors?
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Quartz
Face masks are mandatory in at least two provinces in China, including the city of Wuhan. In an effort to contain the coronavirus strain that has caused nearly 500 deaths, the government is insisting that millions of residents wear protective face covering when they go out in public.

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Brookings
By calling for increased public engagement, non-discrimination, and transparency, the memo recognizes AI’s impacts on people, as well as the economy and national security. While the guidance memo could inform the national framework for AI policy in the U.S., it does not itself carry the force of agency rulemaking or legislation from Congress. However, as the nation competes globally to adopt AI, these principles provide some criterion to advance adjacent policy goals.

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Global Voices
In July 2018, Zimbabweans went to the polls for the first time since the ousting of long-time (now deceased) leader Robert Mugabe, who had held power for nearly 30 years. This may have been promising from an outsider’s perspective, but the heavily contested elections did not inspire confidence in Zimbabwean voters.

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Venture Beat
Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said artificial intelligence is “more profound than fire or electricity.” Author and historian Yuval Noah Harari said, “If you have enough data about me, enough computing power and biological knowledge, you can hack my body, my brain, my life, and you can understand me better than I understand myself.” And a recent Brookings Institution report prophesied that the country or region leading in AI in 2030 will rule the planet until at least 2100.

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CNet
Google’s Face Match technology isn’t everywhere yet, but it’s always looking. Find out what’s happening with your face data and what you can do to stop it.

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Electronic Frontier Foundation
This week, additional stories came out about Clearview AI, the company we wrote about earlier that’s marketing a powerful facial recognition tool to law enforcement. These stories discuss some of the police departments around the country that have been secretly using Clearview’s technology, and they show, yet again, why we need strict federal, state, and local laws that ban — or at least press pause — on law enforcement use of face recognition.

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Haaretz
Over the past decade, Tel Aviv has been following the likes of London and Beijing by installing hundreds of surveillance cameras throughout the city. The cameras’ main purpose is to give residents a sense of security, as well as to help the police crack crimes.

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NBC News
West Virginia is moving to become the first state to allow people with disabilities to use technology that would allow them to vote with their smartphones in the 2020 election.

Editor’s Note: The use of facial recognition has been popping up in voting, with previous articles in this Distill looking at India. This piece, before problems with voting in the Iowa caucuses, looks at an effort in West Virginia.

The Wire (India)
The music business is making more money than ever. A 2019 Goldman Sachs report estimated the industry could top more than $41 billion annually by 2030, as compared with $25 billion per year in the 1990s. But, as in the larger economy, that money is only going to those on top, to executives and their few dozen chosen stars. Working musicians have seen stagnant or declining wages and power for decades, exacerbated by already paltry public funding further drying up.

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Defense News
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — For the last few years the Pentagon and technology community have muddled through efforts to improve cooperation, eliminating barriers to entry.

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CNet
In an interview with CBS This Morning, Clearview AI’s founder says it’s his right to collect photos for the facial recognition app.

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Biometric Update
Continuing with its educational program for its members on facial recognition and associated issues it initiated several years ago, the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) has formally established a facial recognition working group “to study technological issues and appropriate guidelines for law enforcement,” the group announced.

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The Malaysian Reserve
DATASONIC Group Bhd has won a contract from the Home Ministry (KDN) worth RM6.97 million to supply equipment, software and application for 16 units of foreigner e-gate with facial recognition system to the Immigration Department.

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BBC
Russia’s increasing use of facial recognition technology is being challenged by a civil rights activist in court.

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The Verge
Moscow is the latest major city to introduce live facial recognition cameras to its streets, with Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announcing that the technology is operating “on a mass scale” earlier this month, according to a report from Russian business paper Vedomosti.

Editor’s Note: Previous weeks saw the launch of facial recognition in London, though this past week was Moscow’s turn. Here The Verge speaks with NTechLab’s Alex Minin about what he says is the largest system in the world.

Press Trust of India
The first-of-its-kind facial recognition app used in the recently concluded municipal polls in Telangana yielded an accuracy of 80 per cent, officials have claimed.

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CBC
Alberta’s privacy commissioner is urging Edmonton police to seek oversight as it explores the use of facial recognition technology.

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Reason
A coalition of 40 privacy rights groups has sent an open letter to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), requesting that the agency recommend a suspension of all federal use of facial recognition technology.

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Mashable
“At one point, the bot was having maybe 200 conversations at a time…I think Tinder knew this and they banned me, of course, from the platform.”

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Chicago Sun Times
Critics say Clearview AI’s software is an invasive overreach because it grabs the photos without the consent of those pictured or even the websites that post them

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Biometric Update
The United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF) has rolled out a biometric facial recognition pilot in partnership with the International Computing Centre (ICC) to automate the pension process by optimizing identity verification, proof of existence and proof of residence, the organization announced.

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Bloomberg
Flying machines shame people for bad public-health practices.

Editor’s Note: Those who have been following Deepnews know that we like to provide the best possible information on coronavirus in China and around the world. This piece from Bloomberg examines the use of drones to police compliance with health measures.

Daily Bruin
New policies for the implementation of facial recognition technology were introduced in drafted revisions to UCLA Interim Policy 133, which governs the university’s management and use of security camera systems. The Campus Safety Alliance, which first received the draft from campus administrators in December, held a town hall Wednesday for students to air their concerns over the proposed change.

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The New Daily
Perth City Council has reportedly been filming and tracking people moving around parts of the city without their knowledge.

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Business Insider
The app-based design allows for the Cubo’s advanced features but can sacrifice some of the reliability.

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