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Trump camp plan to have face scans of all Americans flying abroad raises privacy worries

Japan Times >> News

Pilot projects are underway at six U.S. airports -- Boston, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, New York City and Washington, D.C. DHS aims to have high-volume U.S. international airports engaged beginning next year. Privacy advocates say making the scans mandatory for U.S. citizens pushes the nation toward a Big Brother future of pervasive surveillance where local and state police and federal agencies, and even foreign governments, could leverage citizens collected "digital faceprints" to track them wherever they go. In an October report, the Georgetown center estimated more than one in four U.S. state and local law enforcement agencies can run or request face recognition searches -- on their own or others' databases --and said federal agencies including the DEA, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the IRS have all had access to one or more state or local face recognition systems. Another DHS initiative worrying privacy advocates is TSA's Precheck, the voluntary program designed to speed enrollees through airport security with more than 5 million enrollees.


Apple unveils HomePod speaker, first new product in years, adds VR elements

Japan Times >> News

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – Apple nodded to several up-and-coming technology trends, unveiling a new "smart" home speaker and device features touching on virtual reality, online privacy and a form of artificial intelligence called machine learning. Like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, the HomePod will play music while also helping people to manage their lives and homes. The Echo, released in 2015, and Google Home, released last year, were the first entrants in a promising market. Apple is also updating the operating software for its Apple Watch, including new watch faces, more personalized alerts that use machine learning to tailor information to you based on your routines and tastes.