Almost a year after it came out in the US, Facebook is releasing its facial recognition-powered photo app Moments in Europe. Except the new version won't actually include any facial recognition technology, thanks to the company's long-running fight with the Irish data protection commissioner over whether the technology is actually legal in the EU. Launched in June, Moments is Facebook's answer to dedicated photo management applications like Google Photos and Apple's Photos. The app bundles pictures together by the event they're taken at, and applies facial recognition technology to identify who's in each picture. Facebook takes the offering a step further than Apple or Google, by leveraging its social network: once you've created your "moments", you can share them with other people at the same event, to ensure that they have the photos of them, and you have the photos of you.
A federal judge in California has ruled that three Illinois men can proceed with their class-action lawsuit challenging Facebook's facial recognition software used to identify people in uploaded photos. Adam Pezen, Carlo Licata and Nimesh Patel, all of the Chicago area, separately sued the social media giant last year, the Chicago Tribune reported (http://trib.in/1USAw5s The cases were combined and transferred last summer to the Northern District of California court. The men allege that Facebook was illegally collecting biometric data from people "tagged" in photos posted by other users and that its use of facial recognition software violates Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act. In 2008, Illinois enacted the Biometric Information Privacy Act to regulate how individuals, companies and organizations can collect and use biometric data, which determine a person's identity based on unique biological or physical characteristics.
San Francisco (AFP) - A US judge rejected a request by Facebook to toss out a civil suit accusing it of violating privacy with face-recognition software to help "tag" people in pictures. A lawsuit filed by three Illinois residents under the auspices of the state's Biometric Information Privacy Act can proceed, US District Court Judge James Donato said. "The court accepts as true plaintiffs' allegations that Facebook's face recognition technology involves a scan of face geometry that was done without plaintiffs' consent," he said in the ruling. It appeared that legislators in Illinois passed the act to address emerging biometric technology such as Facebook face-recognition software at issue in the case, according to the judge. Facebook had argued in a motion to dismiss that analyzing uploaded photographs did not qualify as biometric data and that the Illinois law did not apply.
Facial recognition makes sense as a method for your computer to recognize you. After all, humans already use a powerful version of it to tell each other apart. But people can be fooled (disguises! Now researchers have demonstrated a particularly disturbing new method of stealing a face: one that's based on 3-D rendering and some light Internet stalking. Earlier this month at the Usenix security conference, security and computer vision specialists from the University of North Carolina presented a system that uses digital 3-D facial models based on publicly available photos and displayed with mobile virtual reality technology to defeat facial recognition systems.
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.