A bio-ID surveillance framework that can recognize subway users may soon come to Beijing. China Daily reports two forms of bio-recognition being put forward -- palm touch and facial recognition. Together, they could offer a viable long-term solution to ease congestion issues and help reduce fare evasion. Beijing's subway is the world's busiest; it groans under the weight of around 10 million daily commuters and is a prime candidate for ticketless operations. That's where the bio-ID tracking comes in: once properly installed, cameras with online network connections would be able to identify individuals entering the city's subway stations, and palm scanning devices would allow riders to use their hands in lieu of a traditional tickets.
Facial recognition technology is everywhere you look -- from unlocking phones to shaming jaywalkers. But should corporations have the power to use it on you without consent? That's the question the city of San Francisco is tackling right now. A member of the city's Board of Supervisors proposed a ban on facial recognition technology for city agencies on Tuesday, Wired reports -- potentially forcing tech companies to justify the use of surveillance tools. San Francisco city board member Aaron Peskin is calling for an approval process for any new surveillance technology purchases by city agencies such as license plate readers, CCTV, and gun-detection systems.
There used to be a time when an Australian could fly to New York and be imbued with the power to predict the fashion and hair cuts that would appear on Sydney or Melbourne streets in the upcoming year. On Thursday, Australia's state and territory leaders agreed to link their systems, and thereby create a national federated database of biometric passport and driver's licence photo data. Far from protecting the electorate's civil liberties -- which, unlike many other modern nations, are not written down and only exist in feelings, vibes, and the whims of the High Court -- the state premiers piled on and were only too proud of the technological terror to be constructed. "In my judgement, it would be unforgivable to not make changes like that when the technology is available, the competence, the know-how, and safeguards are available to effect that change," Victorian Premier Dan Andrews said. Australia in 2017 is a place where the political discourse allows Parliament to abrogate and outsource responsibilities on equality, yet the final step to create a technology-driven system of constant visual surveillance is waved through as routine.
If you're reading this in the United States, there's a 50 percent chance that a photo of your face is in at least one database used in police facial-recognition systems. Police departments in nearly half of U.S. states can use facial-recognition software to compare surveillance images with databases of ID photos or mugshots. Some departments only use facial-recognition to confirm the identity of a suspect who's been detained; others continuously analyze footage from surveillance cameras to determine exactly who is walking by at any particular moment. Altogether, more than 117 million American adults are subject to face-scanning systems. These findings were published Tuesday in a report from Georgetown Law's Center for Privacy and Technology.