mfioretti: facial recognition*

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  1. Whether or not Willie Lynch is “Midnight” remains to be seen. But many experts see the facial recognition technology used against him as flawed, especially against black individuals. Moreover, the way the Jacksonville sheriff’s office used the technology – as the basis for identifying and arresting Lynch, not as one component of a case supported by firmer evidence – makes his conviction even more questionable.

    The methods used to convict Lynch weren’t made clear during his court case. The Jacksonville sheriff’s office initially didn’t even disclose that they had used facial recognition software. Instead, they claimed to have used a mugshot database to identify Lynch on the basis of a single photo that the detectives had taken the night of the exchange.
    An ‘imperfect biometric’

    The lack of answers the Jacksonville sheriff’s office have provided in Lynch’s case is representative of the problems that facial recognition poses across the country. “It’s considered an imperfect biometric,” said Garvie, who in 2016 created a study on facial recognition software, published by the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law, called The Perpetual Line-Up. “There’s no consensus in the scientific community that it provides a positive identification of somebody.”

    Experts fear the new technology may actually be hurting the communities the police claims they are trying to protect

    The software, which has taken an expanding role among law enforcement agencies in the US over the last several years, has been mired in controversy because of its effect on people of color. Experts fear that the new technology may actually be hurting the communities the police claims they are trying to protect.

    “If you’re black, you’re more likely to be subjected to this technology and the technology is more likely to be wrong,” House oversight committee ranking member Elijah Cummings said in a congressional hearing on law enforcement’s use of facial recognition software in March 2017. “That’s a hell of a combination.”

    Cummings was referring to studies such as Garvie’s. This report found that black individuals, as with so many aspects of the justice system, were the most likely to be scrutinized by facial recognition software in cases. It also suggested that software was most likely to be incorrect when used on black individuals – a finding corroborated by the FBI’s own research. This combination, which is making Lynch’s and other black Americans’ lives excruciatingly difficult, is born from another race issue that has become a subject of national discourse: the lack of diversity in the technology sector.
    https://www.theguardian.com/technolog...tion-white-coders-black-people-police
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  2. vividly remember the Facebook post. It was my friend’s 5-year-old daughter “Kate,” (a pseudonym) standing outside of her house in a bright yellow bikini, the street address clearly visible behind her on the front door. A caption read “Leaving for our annual Labor Day weekend at the beach,” and beneath it were more than 50 likes and comments from friends—including many “friends” that Kate’s mom barely knew.

    The picture had been uploaded to a Facebook album, and there were 114 shots just of Kate: freshly cleaned and swaddled on the day of her birth … giving her Labradoodle a kiss … playing on a swing set. But there were also photos of her in a bathtub and an awkward moment posing in her mother’s lacy pink bra.

    I completely understood her parents’ desire to capture Kate’s everyday moments, because early childhood is so ephemeral. I also knew how those posts would affect Kate as an adult, and the broader impact of creating a generation of kids born into original digital sin.

    Last week, Facebook updated its privacy policy again. It reads in part: “We are able to suggest that your friend tag you in a picture by scanning and comparing your friend’s pictures to information we’ve put together from your profile pictures and the other photos in which you’ve been tagged.” Essentially, this means that with each photo upload, Kate’s parents are, unwittingly, helping Facebook to merge her digital and real worlds.


    We decided that we would never post any photos or other personally identifying information about her online. Instead, we created a digital trust fund.

    The process started in earnest as we were selecting her name. We’d narrowed the list down to a few alternatives and ran each (and their variants) through domain and keyword searches to see what was available. Next, we crawled through Google to see what content had been posted with those name combinations, and we also looked to see if a Gmail address was open.
    Don’t Stalk Your Kid Online

    Parental stress about technology is incredibly destructive.

    We turned to KnowEm.com, a website I often rely on to search for usernames, even though the site is primarily intended as a brand registration service. We certainly had a front-runner for her name, but we would have chosen something different if the KnowEm results produced limited availability or if we found negative content associated with our selection.
    http://www.slate.com/articles/technol..._post_photos_of_your_kids_online.html
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  3. Data from a wireless network location system is used in conjunction with the known geographic location of a video surveillance area such that the system according to the present invention infers that a person who appears in an image in the video is the user of a mobile phone estimated to be at the person's location. When facial recognition is applied and the person's identity is thus recognized, an association is generated as between the identity according to the facial recognition and the identity of the co-located mobile phone. This association can be critical when there is no personal identification available for a mobile phone such as a pre-paid mobile.
    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2012/0249787.html
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  4. A software engineer in my Facebook community wrote recently about his outrage that when he visited Disneyland, and went on a ride, the theme park offered him the photo of himself and his girlfriend to buy – with his credit card information already linked to it. He noted that he had never entered his name or information into anything at the theme park, or indicated that he wanted a photo, or alerted the humans at the ride to who he and his girlfriend were – so, he said, based on his professional experience, the system had to be using facial recognition technology. He had never signed an agreement allowing them to do so, and he declared that this use was illegal. He also claimed that Disney had recently shared data from facial-recognition technology with the United States military.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfr...talitarianism-surveillance-technology
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  5. Every day, Facebook happily slurps up and automatically scans with facial recognition software about 300 million photos that users upload to the social networking giant. 'Face recognition is here to stay, and, though many Americans may not realize it, they are already in a face recognition database
    http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/81052
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  6. privacy advocates have raised concerns about the technology. Last year, for example, researchers at Carnegie Mellon used facial recognition technology and social media profiles to identify strangers and gain their personal information -- including their Social Security numbers.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/18/facial-technology_n_1684445.html
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  7. Vesalis developed facial recognition technology. mainly for department store kiosks, where shoppers use it to virtually test makeup applied to photographs taken of themselves. But security folks like Vesalis' proposal of using video streams from existing security cameras.

    Vesalis’ software compares these relatively low quality images against a database of existing customers: When a known customer enters the store an alert goes to an iPad carried by a salesperson. The salesperson can then quickly look at the customer’s picture, previous order history, and other information, greet the customer by name and perhaps suggest sale or other items she might be interested in.
    http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/co...sting-lipstick-to-spotting-terrorists
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  8. Il sistema, sviluppato dalla multinazionale giapponese Hitachi Kokusai Electric, è in grado di prelevare un volto automaticamente da una foto o un video di sorveglianza e ricercarlo immediatamente. Pe ottenere una simile velocità di riconoscimento il sistema sfrutta principalmente due elementi: l’analisi delle immagini già durante le riprese e il raggruppamento dei volti simili.
    http://www.techeconomy.it/2012/03/22/...6-milioni-di-volti-in-un-solo-secondo
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  9. Facebook hosts 140 billion photos, and will add 70 billion this year, according to the blog of photo-sharing site 1000memories.
    Putting this in context, 1000memories made the following visualization which shows how big Facebook's library of photos are in comparison to other photo sharing sites, as well as the Library of Congress.
    Incredibly, Facebook is hosting 4% of all photos ever taken, according to 1000memories. It estimates 3.5 trillion photos have been taken through history.
    http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-...t-photo-libraries-in-the-world-2011-9
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