The authors of the Harrisburg University study make explicit their desire to provide "a significant advantage for law enforcement agencies and other intelligence agencies to prevent crime" as a co-author and former NYPD police officer outlined in the original press release. At a time when the legitimacy of the carceral state, and policing in particular, is being challenged on fundamental grounds in the United States, there is high demand in law enforcement for research of this nature, research which erases historical violence and manufactures fear through the so-called prediction of criminality. Publishers and funding agencies serve a crucial role in feeding this ravenous maw by providing platforms and incentives for such research. The circulation of this work by a major publisher like Springer would represent a significant step towards the legitimation and application of repeatedly debunked, socially harmful research in the real world. To reiterate our demands, the review committee must publicly rescind the offer for publication of this specific study, along with an explanation of the criteria used to evaluate it. Springer must issue a statement condemning the use of criminal justice statistics to predict criminality and acknowledging their role in incentivizing such harmful scholarship in the past. Finally, all publishers must refrain from publishing similar studies in the future.
We may remember 2018 as the year when technology's dystopian potential became clear, from Facebook's role enabling the harvesting of our personal data for election interference to a seemingly unending series of revelations about the dark side of Silicon Valley's connect-everything ethos. The list is long: High-tech tools for immigration crackdowns. YouTube algorithms that steer youths into extremism. Doorbells and concert venues that can pinpoint individual faces and alert police. Repurposing genealogy websites to hunt for crime suspects based on a relative's DNA.
These are just some of the questions being raised by lawmakers, civil libertarians, and privacy advocates in the wake of an ACLU report released last summer that claimed Amazon's facial recognition software, Rekognition, misidentified 28 members of congress as criminals. Rekognition is a general-purpose, application programming interface (API) developers can use to build applications that can detect and analyze scenes, objects, faces, and other items within images. The source of the controversy was a pilot program in which Amazon teamed up with the police departments of two cities, Orlando, Florida and Washington County, Oregon, to explore the use of facial recognition in law enforcement. In January 2019, the Daily Mail reported that the FBI has been testing Rekognition since early 2018. The Project on Government Oversight also revealed via a Freedom of Information Act request that Amazon had also pitched Rekognition to ICE in June 2018.
Vladimir Putin was not in attendance, but his loyal lieutenants were. On 14 July last year, the Russian prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, and several members of his cabinet convened in an office building on the outskirts of Moscow. On to the stage stepped a boyish-looking psychologist, Michal Kosinski, who had been flown from the city centre by helicopter to share his research. "There was Lavrov, in the first row," he recalls several months later, referring to Russia's foreign minister. "You know, a guy who starts wars and takes over countries." Kosinski, a 36-year-old assistant professor of organisational behaviour at Stanford University, was flattered that the Russian cabinet would gather to listen to him talk. "Those guys strike me as one of the most competent and well-informed groups," he tells me. Kosinski's "stuff" includes groundbreaking research into technology, mass persuasion and artificial intelligence (AI) – research that inspired the creation of the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. Five years ago, while a graduate student at Cambridge University, he showed how even benign activity on Facebook could reveal personality traits – a discovery that was later exploited by the data-analytics firm that helped put Donald Trump in the White House.
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.