The rail industry has come up with a plan that may as well be out of a science-fiction movie to cope with growing demand and overcrowding: charging rail passengers for journeys by fingerprint or iris scan. The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), the organisation representing train operators and Network Rail, claims biometric technology would enable fares to be automatically charged marking the start of an era that could radically accelerate commute times. The technology represents the next step from travellers being able to us smartphones' Bluetooth signals to open station barriers. That will be trialled on Chiltern Railways' route between London Marylebone and Oxford Parkway over the coming months. The use of digital signalling technology will also allow trains to operate closer together, cutting delay, according to the RDG.
Facebook will face a class action law suit in the wake of its privacy scandal, a US federal judge has ruled. Allegations of privacy violations emerged when it was revealed the app used a photo-scanning tool on users' images without their explicit consent. The facial recognition tool, launched in 2010, suggests names for people it identifies in photos uploaded by users. Under Illinois state law, the company could be fined $1,000 to $5,000 (£700 - £3,500) each time a person's image was used without consent. The technology was suspended for users in Europe in 2012 over privacy fears but is still live in the US and other regions worldwide.
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.
The FBI has ordered a suspect to unlock his iPhone X using the facial recognition feature in the first case known worldwide of authorities using Apple's face ID technology to pry into devices. The incident occurred in Columbus, Ohio, when the FBI entered the home of Grant Michalski, 28, on August 10 while investigating him for child abuse. An agent told Michalski's to put his face to the phone and once inside uncovered salacious chats that helped charge him with receiving and possessing child pornography, according toForbes. Forbes obtained court documents which revealed special agent David Knight entered Michalski's home with a search warrant and forced the suspect to unlock his phone with his face. This allowed Knight to go through the contents of Michalski's device, including online chats and photos.
Facebook users who felt that their privacy was violated by the website's use of facial recognition software -- which it uses to help identify and tag people in photographs -- won an early legal victory Thursday when a San Francisco federal judge rejected a request by the internet company to dismiss a lawsuit challenging its collection of biometric information. "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," U.S. District Judge James Donato ruled. Three Illinois residents filed separate lawsuits -- that were later combined -- under the state's Biometric Information Privacy Act of 2008, which allows companies to be sued for failing to get consumers' consent before collecting or storing their biometric information, which includes "faceprints" used by Facebook (and also Google) for identifying people in photographs. Facebook introduced its face-recognition feature in 2010. California, where Facebook is based, does not have a law regulating the use of biometrics.