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Uber to require drivers to wear face masks – and use facial recognition technology to check that they comply

The Independent - Tech

Uber will require its drivers to wear face masks as journeys start out of coronavirus lockdowns – and will use new technology to confirm that they are complying. "Our new technology will verify if the driver is wearing a mask by asking them to take a selfie. After we verify the driver is covering their face, we'll let the rider know via an in-app message" the company said in a blog post. Unlike it's other facial recognition software the "Real-Time ID Check", which the company says "protects riders from unverified drivers, and also prevents fraud by ensuring drivers' accounts are not compromised", this technology only identifies the mask rather than the driver's face or other biometric information. Drivers in the United States, Canada, India and most of Europe and Latin America, will be affected by the change, which will start 18 May.

Thermal camera with face detection tech for fever screening procured in Kerala


The first Thermal and Optical Imaging camera with Artificial Intelligence-powered face detection technology for fever screening has been procured for the state capital by former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor. Following a discussion, his team had with district collector K Gopalakrishnan, Congress leader Tharoor said it was brought to his notice that a Thermal imaging camera with face detection technology was urgently needed in the district to scan from a safe distance and isolate those potentially having fever. Using his MPLADS fund, Tharoor, who represents, Thiruvananthapuram in the Lok Sabha, procured the equipment. Bahrain and Dubai before finally reaching Bengaluru, from where it was shipped to Kerala, Tharoor said in a Facebook Post. "The installation will be done at our Airport, Railway Station, MCH. Since all MPLADS funds have been exhausted, we are approaching other corporate groups to partner with us and the district administration to procure more of this highly sophisticated technological device prior to the huge influx of expatriates from the middle east and other areas overseas,"

Apple's New iPhone SE Offers Most of the Features at a Fraction of the Price

TIME - Tech

Apple Inc. unveiled the new iPhone SE, its first low-cost smartphone in four years, seeking to boost sales while consumers wait for the launch of new high-end models with 5G later this year. To get to the lower cost, Apple is using an iPhone 8 design that debuted in 2017 along with a less advanced camera system, a smaller and older display and a Touch ID fingerprint scanner instead of 3-D facial recognition. The new model comes in black, white or red with storage options ranging from 64GB to 256GB, Cupertino, California-based Apple said on Wednesday. While many of the device's specifications have been surpassed by newer technology at this point, the iPhone SE does use the same A13 processor as the latest flagship iPhone. This also gives Apple a more competitive model in countries such as India that are flooded with cheaper Android phones.

Top 7 Resources To Learn Facial Recognition - Analytics India Magazine


Facial recognition is arguably the most talked-about technology within the artificial intelligence landscape due to its wide range of applications and biased outputs. Several countries are adopting this technology for surveillance purposes, most notably China and India. Both are among the first countries to make use of this technology on a large scale. Even the EU has pulled back from banning this technology for some years and has left it for the countries to decide. This will increase the demand for professionals who can develop solutions around facial recognition technology to simplify life and make operations efficient.

RSTV - The Big Picture Facial Recognition - Uses & Concerns


Facial Recognition is an upcoming technology, capable of identifying or verifying a person from a digital image or a video frame from a video source. There are multiple methods in which facial recognition systems work, but in general, they work by comparing selected facial features from given image with faces within a database. It is also described as a Biometric Artificial Intelligence based application that can uniquely identify a person by analyzing patterns based on the person's facial textures and shape. It is being considered to be used in India as well, as it is being used in other Countries as well. Watch Cyber Expert, Mr. Anuj Agarwal (Chairman, Centre for Research on Cyber Crime and Cyber Law; Chairman, Cybrotech) in Rajya Sabha TV (RSTV) commenting on the various uses and concerns associated with facial recognition system in the Indian Scenario and how will it be beneficial in India for the Police Department.

India's use of facial recognition tech during protests stirs criticism

The Japan Times

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI, INDIA – When artist Rachita Taneja heads out to protest in New Delhi, she covers her face with a pollution mask, a hoodie or a scarf to reduce the risk of being identified by police facial recognition software. Police in the Indian capital and the northern state of Uttar Pradesh -- both hotbeds of dissent -- have used the technology during protests that have raged since mid-December against a new citizenship law that critics say marginalizes Muslims. Activists are worried about insufficient regulation around the new technology, amid what they say is a crackdown on dissent under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose Hindu nationalist agenda has gathered pace since his re-election in May. "I do not know what they are going to do with my data," said Taneja, 28, who created a popular online cartoon about cheap ways for protesters to hide their faces. "We need to protect ourselves, given how this government cracks down."

Artificial intelligence to spot car buyers


Auto companies are using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to identify potential buyers from among the walk-ins and enquiries in showrooms. They are also gauging consumer reaction to new models and concept cars through facial recognition systems. Maruti's Mobility and Automobile Innovation Lab (MAIL) is identifying start-ups that can help it solve some of its operational problems. One of the start-ups from Karnataka is helping Maruti to identify leads among the plethora of queries and walk-ins that each of their dealers receive in a day. "We receive one million enquiries a month. The start-up is helping us identify the probability of purchase among them," said Shashank Srivastava, executive director, sales and marketing of MSIL.

Indian Railways will be using facial recognition to fight crime by end of 2020


Most major railway stations in India will use facial recognition to fight crime by the end of 2020, a senior official said, in a move that digital rights campaigners on Tuesday warned could breach people's privacy in the absence of stringent laws. The system is being trialled in the tech hub of Bengaluru where about half a million faces are scanned every day and - using artificial intelligence (AI) - matched against faces stored in a police database of criminals. "The railways will become like a virtual fortress," a senior railways official told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "Without a physical, brick and mortar boundary wall, we will be able to make the whole system more secure," said the official who declined to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media. Stretching from the foothills of the Himalayas to sandy southern beaches, India's railway network is one of the biggest in the world, carrying about 23 million people - or the population of Taiwan - every day.

Need India-specific data to properly implement facial recognition tech: Infosys co-founder


BENGALURU: As India plans to roll out a nationwide facial recognition system this year, Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan believes that the country must develop its own databases for efficient implementation of breakthrough technologies that use artificial intelligence and machine learning. A facial recognition system is a technology capable of identifying or verifying a person by analysing patterns based on the person's facial textures and shape. Gopalakrishnan noted that India should carry out its own trials before implementing the facial recognition systems, as currently the algorithms used to train these mostly employ data of white men belonging to the Anglo-Saxon community, and it is unclear whether it will work properly in the country. "We also need to look at biases. One of the reasons why I believe India must do research in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) particularly is because most of the databases that are used to train these systems which we use today are being trained with data which is not from India," he told PTI in an interview on the sidelines of the Infosys Prize ceremony here.

Facial recognition at Indian cafe chain sparks calls for data protection law - Reuters


BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The use of facial recognition technology at a popular Indian cafe chain that triggered a backlash among customers, led to calls from human rights advocates on Monday for the government to speed up the introduction of laws to protect privacy. Customers at Chaayos took to social media during the last week to complain about the camera technology they said captured images of them without their consent, with no information on what the data would be used for, and no option to opt out. While the technology is marketed as a convenience, the lack of legislative safeguards to protect against the misuse of data can lead to "breaches of privacy, misidentification and even profiling of individuals", said Joanne D'Cunha, associate counsel at Internet Freedom Foundation, a digital rights group. "Until India introduces a comprehensive data protection law that provides such guarantees, there needs to be a moratorium on any technology that would infringe upon an individual's right to privacy and other rights that stem from it," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation from New Delhi. A statement from Chaayos said the technology was being tested in select cafes and was aimed at reducing purchase times for customers.