The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is pressing forward with a lawsuit involving the facial recognition software offered by Amazon and Microsoft to government clients. In a complaint filed in a Massachusetts federal court, the ACLU asked for a variety of different records from the government, including inquiries to companies, meetings about the piloting or testing of facial recognition, voice recognition, and gait recognition technology, requests for proposals, and licensing agreements. At the heart of the lawsuit are Amazon's Rekognition and Microsoft's Face API, both facial recognition products that are available for customers of the companies' cloud platforms. The ACLU has also asked for more details on the US government's use of voice recognition and gait recognition, which is the automated process of comparing images of the way a person walks in order to identify them. Police in Shanghai and Beijing are already using gait-analysis tools to identify people.
One of the facial recognition databases that the Chinese government is using to track the Uyghur Muslim population in the Xinjiang region has been left open on the internet for months, a Dutch security researcher told ZDNet. The database belongs to a Chinese company named SenseNets, which according to its website provides video-based crowd analysis and facial recognition technology. Yesterday, Victor Gevers, a well-known security researcher that made a name for himself in the past few years by finding leaky MongoDB databases did what he does best and found one of SenseNets' MongoDB databases that had been left exposed online without authentication. Gevers told ZDNet that the database contained information on 2,565724 users, along with a stream of GPS coordinates that came in at a rapid pace. The user data wasn't just benign usernames, but highly detailed and highly sensitive information that someone would usually find on an ID card, Gevers said.
ZHENGZHOU: In the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, a police officer wearing facial recognition glasses spotted a heroin smuggler at a train station. In Qingdao, a city famous for its German colonial heritage, cameras powered by artificial intelligence helped police snatch two dozen criminal suspects in the midst of a big annual beer festival. In Wuhu, a fugitive murder suspect was identified by a camera as he bought food from a street vendor. With millions of cameras and billions of lines of code, China is building a high-tech authoritarian future. Beijing is embracing technologies like facial recognition and artificial intelligence to identify and track 1.4 billion people. It wants to assemble a vast and unprecedented national surveillance system, with crucial help from its thriving technology industry.
In China, face recognition is transforming many aspects of daily life. Employees at e-commerce giant Alibaba in Shenzhen can show their faces to enter their office building instead of swiping ID cards. A train station in western Beijing matches passengers' tickets to their government-issued IDs by scanning their faces. If their face matches their ID card photo, the system deems their tickets valid and the station gate will open. The subway system in Hangzhou, a city about 125 miles southwest of Shanghai, employs surveillance cameras capable of recognizing faces to spot suspected criminals.
Qiu Rui, a policeman in Chongqing, was on duty this summer when he received an alert from a facial recognition system at a local square. There was a high probability a man caught on camera was a suspect in a 2002 murder case, the system told him. The depth, breadth and intrusiveness of China's mass surveillance may be unprecedented in modern history The city's surveillance system scans facial features of people on the streets from frames of video footage in real time, creating a virtual map of the face. It can then match this information against scanned faces of suspects in a police database. If there is a match that passes a preset threshold, typically 60% or higher, the system immediately notifies officers.