Security News This Week: Russia's FindFace Face-Recognition App Is a Privacy Nightmare


These last few months have presented some complicated security stories, and this week we took steps to untangle them. We looked at the many, many ways in which the FBI hacks people, revelations of which have been trickling out for decades. And we broke down just how hackers were able to lift 81 million from a Bangladeshi bank in a matter of hours--well short of their billion-dollar goal, but still a hefty sum, cleverly obtained. In the world of software, Google has finally offered end-to-end encryption in its messaging products. It's Allo and Duo, new chat and video apps that use the stalwart end-to-end encryption known as Signal.

Dubai CCTV cameras to use AI, face recognition


Dubai: Thousands of CCTV cameras of various Dubai government agencies will now provide live feed to a central command centre, officials said. Under a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) network, security cameras across will relay live images of security breaches live to the central command centre, Dubai Police said. The cameras will monitor criminal behaviour in three sectors -- tourism, traffic and bricks and mortar facilities. The network, said the police, is being phased in via different stages to meet the Dubai 2021 Vision requirements of a smart city. Announcing the programme, Major-General Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs, said the new project called'Oyoon' (eyes) will tackle crimes in the city and help reduce traffic accident deaths and congestion.

Amazon shareholders demand company stop selling facial recognition technology to governments

The Independent - Tech

A group of Amazon shareholders is asking CEO Jeff Bezos to stop selling and marketing facial recognition technology to governments after civil liberties groups warned of the potential for abuse. Earlier this year, a group of advocacy organisations led by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) published a report detailing how Amazon was marketing its Rekognition tool to American law enforcement agencies. In addition to touting the technology as helping to find suspects, Amazon has said it could be used to preemptively identify "persons of interest" and prevent crimes. A letter signed by 19 shareholders - and provided to The Independent by the ACLU - urges Mr Bezos to halt the tool's expansion until those concerns can be addressed. Amazon supplier investigated over'mistreatment' of workers in China How Alexa recorded a family's conversation then sent it to someone Amazon told to stop selling facial recognition tools to police Amazon supplier investigated over'mistreatment' of workers in China How Alexa recorded a family's conversation then sent it to someone Furnishing police and sheriff's departments with the tool would bolster "government surveillance infrastructure technology" and could drive down Amazon's value, the letter warned. It also echoed concerns about the potential for misuse. "While Rekognition may be intended to enhance some law enforcement activities, we are deeply concerned it may ultimately violate civil and human rights", the letter said.

New facial recognition technology caught 'imposter' using someone else's passport, US officials say

The Independent - Tech

A new facial recognition technology caught a man trying to enter the US using a passport belonging to someone else, US officials say. Officials with the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Office of Field Operations (OFO) intercepted a 26-year-old man, the agencies referred to as an "imposter", who reportedly attempted to use a French passport belonging to someone else, at Washington's Dulles International Airport.

Facial recognition regulation is surprisingly bipartisan


Bipartisanship in modern politics can seem kind of like an unbelievable, mythical creature. But in recent months, as Congress considered regulation of one of the most controversial topics it faces -- how, when, or if to use facial recognition -- we've gotten glimpses of a political unicorn. In two House Oversight and Reform committee hearings last summer, some of the most prominent Republicans and Democrats in the United States Congress joined together in calls for legislative reform. Proponents of regulation ranged from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a frequent Trump supporter on cable news. On Friday, Jordan was also appointed to the House Intelligence Committee to confront witnesses in public presidential impeachment hearings that begin this week.