ethical issues

Human Rights Watch Clears Megvii in Investigation of Biometric Surveillance App

Human Rights Watch Clears Megvii in Investigation of Biometric Surveillance App

Megvii has been exonerated in an investigation into human rights violations in China. The New York-based Human Rights Watch previously uncovered Megvii code in a government surveillance app being used to monitor the Uyghur muslims in Xinjiang back in May. However, the same organization is now reporting that the code was “inoperable,” and that Megvii…

Microsoft Takes Down Open Source Face Database

Microsoft Takes Down Open Source Face Database

Microsoft’s MS Celeb dataset of face images has been quietly taken down by the company. The open source dataset has been used to train and test facial recognition systems, with major names like IBM, Panasonic, Alibaba, and Hitachi having used it for their own purposes. Ostensibly a collection of Public Domain celebrity photos, MS Celeb…

FBI’s Face Photo Database Has Grown to 641 Million, Says Oversight Body

FBI’s Face Photo Database Has Grown to 641 Million, Says Oversight Body

“Testifying at this week’s congressional hearing, an FBI representative asserted that the organization is committed to the protection of citizen’s privacy and civil liberties…” The FBI’s collection of citizens’ face images appears to have expanded considerably since a 2016 report from the Government Accountability Office exposed its secret Facial Analysis, Comparison, and Evaluation, or “FACE”,…

New York Public School District Faces Criticism for  Facial Recognition System

New York Public School District Faces Criticism for Facial Recognition System

The New York State Department of Education has asked the Lockport City School District to delay its deployment of the first facial recognition surveillance system in a public school. The news comes shortly after Lockport announced that it would begin a trial run of its $1.4 million Aegis network on Monday, June 3rd, in an…

Biometrics Institute Stresses Importance of Ethical Best Practices for Biometrics

Biometrics Institute Stresses Importance of Ethical Best Practices for Biometrics

The Biometrics Institute is asking law enforcement, border control, and other government agencies to exhibit good behavior when deploying biometric technology, warning that it may be regulated for them if they use it irresponsibly and go on to lose public trust. “It is vital that anyone using biometrics to identify individuals follows responsible and ethical…

Toronto Police Chief Reveals Ongoing Use of Biometric Facial Recognition Tech

Toronto Police Chief Reveals Ongoing Use of Biometric Facial Recognition Tech

“The news of TPS’s use of facial recognition technology arrives at a time of heated debate over such practices, with civil and privacy rights advocates warning of potential overreach, as well as racial and gender disparities in the accuracy of facial recognition systems.” Police in Toronto have been using facial recognition technology for over a…

BRIEF: The Legislative Pushback Against Biometric Facial Recognition

BRIEF: The Legislative Pushback Against Biometric Facial Recognition

Apple’s introduction of the face-scanning Face ID system in 2017’s iPhone X went a long way in helping to make facial recognition for authentication a mainstream technology among consumers. But it was Amazon that really made facial recognition for large-scale public identification explode into the national discourse as an ethical issue, after an ACLU report…

Legal Challenge to Biometric Surveillance Gets Underway in UK

Legal Challenge to Biometric Surveillance Gets Underway in UK

“The hearings, held at a court in Cardiff, heard from South Wales Police barrister Jeremy Johnson QC, who explained that the facial recognition technology only looks for matches against police watch lists, and that if no match is found for a given subject, their biometric data is deleted immediately.” Hearings are now underway in the…

San Francisco Bans City’s Use of Facial Recognition-Based Surveillance

San Francisco Bans City’s Use of Facial Recognition-Based Surveillance

City officials in San Francisco have approved a proposed ban on the city’s use of facial recognition, clearing the way for it to become law. First proposed at the end of January, the legislation is designed to prohibit the use of facial recognition-based surveillance technology by city departments, and requires them to seek approval from…

Biometrics Institute Updates Privacy Guidelines to Reflect GDPR Standards

Biometrics Institute Updates Privacy Guidelines to Reflect GDPR Standards

The Biometrics Institute has released new privacy guidelines for any and all organizations operating in the biometrics space. The universal guidelines are specifically written to ensure that biometrics researchers, manufacturers, and operators know how to handle people’s personal information responsibly. While the Institute generally updates its privacy guidelines every two years, this is the first…

Chinese Police Surveillance App Features Megvii Biometrics Tech: Human Rights Watch

Chinese Police Surveillance App Features Megvii Biometrics Tech: Human Rights Watch

“Responding to media inquiries, Megvii has asserted that it has no agreement for the use of its technology in the Chinese police app, and indeed that it has no knowledge of how its technology was integrated into the app.” The surveillance state that Chinese authorities have built in the country’s Xinjiang region is more intensive…

Kairos Places Facial Recognition Software on RapidAPI Marketplace

Kairos Places Facial Recognition Software on RapidAPI Marketplace

Kairos is hoping to expand its customer base thanks to a renewed partnership with RapidAPI. The facial recognition specialist has announced that its deep learning API platform will be listed on the RapidAPI marketplace, where it will be available to more than 500,000 developers. “Refreshing our partnership with RapidAPI reinforces our commitment to bring accurate…

Yoti Commits to Biometrics Institute’s Seven Ethical Principles

Yoti Commits to Biometrics Institute’s Seven Ethical Principles

Yoti has come out in support of the Biometrics Institute’s seven ethical principles for biometrics. The recently published principles are designed to guide companies in the biometrics space to ensure that they use the technology for the public good. For its part, Yoti discussed the seven ethical principles in a blog post that outlined the…

Microsoft Refused to Sell Facial Recognition Tech to California Law Enforcement

Microsoft Refused to Sell Facial Recognition Tech to California Law Enforcement

In recent months, many companies have made headlines for selling biometric technology to police forces around the world. Microsoft, on the other hand, has done the opposite. Speaking at a conference at Stanford, company President Brad Smith revealed that Microsoft refused to sell its facial recognition tech to an unnamed law enforcement agency in California.…

NEC Reaffirms its Commitment to AI Privacy and Human Rights

NEC Reaffirms its Commitment to AI Privacy and Human Rights

The NEC Corporation has established a set of human rights principles to guide its business decisions when using biometrics and artificial intelligence. The newly published “NEC Group AI and Human Rights Principles” reflect a commitment to privacy at every stage of development, and are also intended to ensure compliance with international rules and regulations. With…

Nuance Gets 100% Score in LGBTQ Equality Report

Nuance Gets 100% Score in LGBTQ Equality Report

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation has named Nuance Communications one of 2019’s “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” in its Corporate Equality Index. The Foundation bills itself as America’s largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, with over 3 million members and supporters across the country. Its Corporate Equality Index…

Biometrics Institute Publishes Ethical Guideline Based on Seven Principles

Biometrics Institute Publishes Ethical Guideline Based on Seven Principles

The Biometrics Institute has issued seven ethical principles meant to serve as a guideline for how contemporary biometrics technology should be deployed. The list of principles begins with a bit of a tautology – “Ethical behaviour” – and goes on to include “Ownership of the biometric and respect for individuals’ personal data”, “Serving humans”, “Justice…

Implicated in Chinese Surveillance Program, Microsoft Denies Official Ties

Implicated in Chinese Surveillance Program, Microsoft Denies Official Ties

“…Microsoft has stated that it is not involved in a partnership with SenseNets, and that it has asked the company to remove the Microsoft logo from its website as it had been used without permission.” Microsoft is denying that its technology is being used in an intrusive and controversial Chinese surveillance program after being implicated…

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