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Archive for the ‘privacy’ category

Apr 2, 2020

Elon Musk’s SpaceX bans Zoom over privacy concerns

Posted by in categories: education, Elon Musk, encryption, privacy, space travel

NASA, one of SpaceX’s biggest customers, also prohibits its employees from using Zoom, said Stephanie Schierholz, a spokeswoman for the U.S. space agency.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Boston office on Monday issued a warning about Zoom, telling users not to make meetings on the site public or share links widely after it received two reports of unidentified individuals invading school sessions, a phenomenon known as “zoombombing.”

Investigative news site The Intercept on Tuesday reported that Zoom video is not end-to-end encrypted between meeting participants, and that the company could view sessions.

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Apr 2, 2020

Homo Deus author has pandemic lessons from past and warnings for future

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, governance, privacy, surveillance

Historian Yuval Harari, author of Sapiens and Homo Deus, answers questions from the South China Morning Post on how the coronavirus pandemic poses unprecedented challenges in biometric surveillance, governance and global cooperation.


Yuval Harari says that unlike our ancestors battling plagues, we have science, wisdom and community on our side.

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Feb 27, 2020

Why America Is Losing The Toilet Race

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, privacy, robotics/AI

Seat heaters and bidets are cool and all but what I really want to see are toilets that use AI and machine learning to analyze biometric data from waste in order to diagnose viruses, diseases, or deficiencies…


Japan rethought the bathroom. Why hasn’t America?

Feb 26, 2020

Spies Like AI: The Future of Artificial Intelligence for the US Intelligence Community

Posted by in categories: policy, privacy, robotics/AI

Putting AI to its broadest use in national defense will mean hardening it against attack.

America’s intelligence collectors are already using AI in ways big and small, to scan the news for dangerous developments, send alerts to ships about rapidly changing conditions, and speed up the NSAs regulatory compliance efforts. But before the IC can use AI to its full potential, it must be hardened against attack. The humans who use it — analysts, policy-makers and leaders — must better understand how advanced AI systems reach their conclusions.

Dean Souleles is working to put AI into practice at different points across the U.S. intelligence community, in line with the ODNIs year-old strategy. The chief technology advisor to the principal deputy to the Director of National Intelligence wasn’t allowed to discuss everything that he’s doing, but he could talk about a few examples.

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Feb 21, 2020

LA hospital trades in badges for facial biometrics-only secure access control from Alcatraz AI

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, privacy, robotics/AI, security

Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital in Los Angeles is using biometric facial recognition technology from Alcatraz AI to replace or augment badges for physical security and access control, the company has revealed to Biometric Update.

The Alcatraz AI 3D Rock Facial Authentication Platform was integrated with MLKCH’s access control system to strengthen identity verification procedures for its 70 security department employees. The hospital, which employs more than 2,000 people, considered biometric card reader options, and selected Alcatraz Rock to secure access to its security center.

“The security department was a natural place to start with coverage from the Alcatraz Rock and facial recognition access control,” says MLKCH Director of Support Services Mark Reed in a case study by Alcatraz 3D. “Our security department obviously has a huge role in maintaining a safe and secure hospital environment for patients, staff, and guests and therefore houses important employees and information. Controlling access to this security area is key and we wanted to ensure that only those individuals that are supposed to be coming and going are the ones that are actually coming and going. What better way is there to verify identity than with facial recognition?”

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Feb 21, 2020

Epidemics like coronavirus are putting a spotlight on contactless biometrics

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, economics, health, privacy

This is a guest post by Mohammed Murad, vice president, global sales and business development, Iris ID.

The world is in the grip of a coronavirus epidemic the impact of which extends well beyond people’s health, including more than 1,300 reported deaths. The fear of this recently identified disease has closed businesses and grounded thousands of flights. The impacts have led to estimates of reduced economic growth in many countries.

While the virus that was first discovered in a Chinese province has killed far fewer people than influenza this year, the fatality rate has people worried. Influenza reportedly kills between 10 to 20 people per 100,000 infections each year. The death rate from the coronavirus tops 2,300 deaths per 100,000 cases. Those latter statistics change virtually daily as more cases of the virus are reported.

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Feb 18, 2020

We cannot predict with any precision where technology will lead us

Posted by in categories: government, military, particle physics, privacy, robotics/AI, terrorism

Superb piece.

“But, I say we should pursue science and technology because, like Prometheus, the fires of invention burn bright, and although we may not always know where it leads us, a world darkened by the fear of treading upon the unknown, is unimaginable.”

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Feb 13, 2020

The Rise of Smart Camera Networks, and Why We Should Ban Them

Posted by in categories: business, habitats, privacy, robotics/AI, surveillance

Police are using cameras at private businesses and homes, along with AI, to expand their video surveillance — raising privacy concerns.

Feb 6, 2020

3D Printed Heads Can Unlock Phones. What Does that Mean for Biometric Security?

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, cybercrime/malcode, mobile phones, privacy, robotics/AI

Facial recognition technology is likely not as safe as you may have thought. This was illustrated by a recent test where 3D printed busts of peoples’ heads were used to unlock smartphones.

Out of five tested phones, only one refused to open when presented with the fake head.

Other biometric security measures are also showing less resilience to hacking than you might expect. A group of Japanese researchers recently showed it was possible to copy a person’s fingerprints from pictures like the ones many of us post on social media.

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Jan 19, 2020

Amazon reportedly wants to turn your hand into a credit card

Posted by in categories: finance, privacy

Technology giant Amazon is working to allow customers to connect their credit card information to their hands, so that they can scan for purchases with their palms at checkout areas in physical stores, people familiar with the project told The Wall Street Journal.

While Amazon’s plan is in the early stages, the company has reportedly begun working with Visa on testing out the terminals, and has discussed the project with Mastercard, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Synchrony Financial.

The company previously filed a patent for a “non-contact biometric identification system” that features a “hand scanner” to produce a picture of a person’s palm.

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