Last year, communities banded together to prove that they can--and will--defend their privacy rights. As part of ACLU-led campaigns, three California cities--San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland--as well as three Massachusetts municipalities--Somerville, Northhampton, and Brookline--banned the government's use of face recognition from their communities. Following another ACLU effort, the state of California blocked police body cam use of the technology, forcing San Diego's police department to shutter its massive face surveillance flop. And in New York City, tenants successfully fended off their landlord's efforts to install face surveillance. Even the private sector demonstrated it had a responsibility to act in the face of the growing threat of face surveillance.
Many of California's local law enforcement agencies have access to facial recognition software for identifying suspects who appear in crime scene footage, documents obtained through public records requests show. Three California counties also have the capability to run facial recognition searches on each others' mug shot databases, and others could join if they choose to opt into a network maintained by a private law enforcement software company. The network is called California Facial Recognition Interconnect, and it's a service offered by DataWorks Plus, a Greenville, South Carolina–based company with law enforcement contracts in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Santa Barbara. Currently, the three adjacent counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino are able to run facial recognition against mug shots in each other's databases. That means these police departments have access to about 11.7 million mug shots of people who have previously been arrested, a majority of which come from the Los Angeles system.
See how Apple's new facial recognition system works in real life. A conductive model of a finger, used to spoof a fingerprint ID system. Created by Prof. Anil Jain, a professor of computer science at Michigan State University and expert on biometric technology. SAN FRANCISCO -- Your shiny new smartphone may unlock with only your thumbprint, eye or face. The FBI is struggling to gain access to the iPhone of Texas church gunman Devin Kelley, who killed 25 people in a shooting rampage.
NEW YORK – A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected Facebook Inc.'s effort to undo a class action lawsuit claiming that it illegally collected and stored biometric data on millions of users without their consent. The 3-0 decision from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco over Facebook's facial recognition technology exposes the company to billions of dollars in potential damages to the Illinois users who brought the case. It came as the social media company faces broad criticism from lawmakers and regulators over its privacy practices. Last month, Facebook agreed to pay a record $5 billion fine to settle a Federal Trade Commission data privacy probe. "This biometric data is so sensitive that if it is compromised, there is simply no recourse," Shawn Williams, a lawyer for plaintiffs in the class action, said in an interview.
SAN FRANCISCO – Alphabet Inc. is pushing efforts to roll back the most comprehensive biometric privacy law in the U.S., even as the company and its peers face heightened scrutiny after the unauthorized sharing of data at Facebook Inc. While Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg were publicly apologizing this month for failing to protect users' information, Google's lobbyists were drafting measures to de-fang an Illinois law recognized as the most rigorous consumer privacy statute in the country. Their ambition: to strip language from a decade-old policy that regulates the use of fingerprints, iris scans and facial recognition technology, and insert a loophole for companies embracing the use of biometrics. Google is trying to exempt photos from the Illinois law at a time when it's fighting a lawsuit in the state that threatens billions of dollars in potential damages. The world's largest search engine is facing claims that it violated the privacy of millions of users by gathering and storing biometric data without their consent.