Face Recognition


Turning off facial recognition can help reduce screen time, study says

Daily Mail - Science & tech

If you spend too much time on your smartphone, scientists have a list of 10 solutions that can help you cut back on screen time. The small but effective changes can help curb smartphone addiction and mental health issues such as depression, say experts at McGill University in Canada. In experiments, people following the strategies reduced their screen time, felt less addicted to their phone and improved their sleep quality, the experts report. Among the 10 strategies are changing the phone display to'greyscale' so the display appears black and white, and disabling facial recognition as a method of unlocking the screen. A black and white screen makes smartphones'less gratifying' to look at compared to the bright colours offered by app icons such as TikTok and Instagram.


Facebook issues $397 checks to Illinois residents as part of class-action lawsuit

Engadget

More than a million Illinois residents will receive a $397 settlement payment from Facebook this week, thanks to a legal battle over the platform's since-retired photo-tagging system that used facial recognition. It's been nearly seven years since the 2015 class-action lawsuit was first filed, which accused Facebook of breaking a state privacy law that forbids companies from collecting biometric data without informing users. The platform has since faced broad, global criticism for its use of facial recognition tech, and last year Meta halted the practice completely on Facebook and Instagram. But as Vox notes, the company has made no promises to avoid facial recognition in future products. Even though it was first filed in Illinois, the class-action lawsuit eventually wound up on Facebook's home turf -- at the U.S. District Court for Northern California.


Democratic lawmakers want FTC to investigate controversial identity firm ID.me

Engadget

A group of Democratic lawmakers led by Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon is calling on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate ID.me, the controversial identification company best known for its work with the Internal Revenue Service. In a letter addressed to FTC Chair Lina Khan, the group suggests the firm misled the American public about the capabilities of its facial recognition technology. Specifically, lawmakers point to a statement ID.me made at the start of the year. After CEO Blake Hall said the company did not use one-to-many facial recognition, an approach that involves matching images against those in a database, ID.me backtracked on those claims. It clarified it uses a "specific" one-to-many check during user enrollment to prevent identity theft.


What if Zoom Could Read Your Facial Expression?

Slate

Right now, companies are developing and selling AI products intended to tell your boss, or your teacher, how you're feeling while on camera. Emotion AI is supposedly capable of taking our expressions and micro-expressions, capturing them via computer vision, and then spitting out some sort of score that says whether someone's engaged with what's being said in a virtual classroom or even responding well to a sales pitch. But what's unclear is how well--or whether--it really works. On Friday's episode of What Next: TBD, I spoke with Kate Kaye, a reporter for Protocol, about whether AI really know what you're feeling. Our conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.


Why Some Instagram And Facebook Filters Can't Be Used In Texas After Lawsuit

International Business Times

Instagram and Facebook users in Texas lost access to certain augmented reality filters Wednesday, following a lawsuit accusing parent company Meta of violating privacy laws. In February, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton revealed he would sue Meta for using facial recognition in filters to collect data for commercial purposes without consent. Paxton claimed Meta was "storing millions of biometric identifiers" that included voiceprints, retina or iris scans, and hand and face geometry. Although Meta argued it does not use facial recognition technology, it has disabled its AR filters and avatars on Facebook and Instagram amid the litigation. The AR effects featured on Facebook, Messenger, Messenger Kids, and Portal will also be shut down for Texas users.


#NewProfilePic: Warning issued over viral app which hoovers data and sends it to Moscow

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A new phone app which offers users a free digital avatar is taking facial-recognition quality photographs and sending them to Moscow, prompting major concerns within the cyber security community. Tens of thousands of people have already uploaded their photographs to the servers of the New Profile Pic app in return to the free avatar. However, many will be unaware that the company behind the app, Linerock Investments, is based in an apartment complex overlooking the Moscow River, beside Russia's Ministry of Defence and just three miles from Red Square. Jake Moore, Global Cybersecurity Advisor, ESET Internet Security told MailOnline that people have to be incredibly careful when uploading photographs or personal data to a brand new website. He said: 'This app is likely a way of capturing people's faces in high resolution and I would question any app wanting this amount of data, especially one which is largely unheard of and based in another country.'


The Charlettes: An AI engineer in Ivory Coast and Ghana

Al Jazeera

Charlette Désiré N'Guessan comes from an intriguing family, where all the women share the same name: Charlette. It is confusing, and also a little ironic, since she is a software engineer who has invented a facial recognition app. In The Charlettes, by filmmaker Gauz, we see how this particular Charlette has made an impact in the tech world in Ivory Coast and Ghana, winning prizes and plaudits for her artificial intelligence (AI) identity invention. Gbaka-Brede Armand Patrick, known professionally as Gauz, is a multidisciplinary and self-proclaimed iconoclastic artist, based in Ivory Coast.


Clearview AI settles with ACLU on face-recog database sales

#artificialintelligence

Clearview AI has promised to stop selling its controversial face-recognizing tech to most private US companies in a settlement proposed this week with the ACLU. The New-York-based startup made headlines in 2020 for scraping billions of images from people's public social media pages. These photographs were used to build a facial-recognition database system, allowing the biz to link future snaps of people to their past and current online profiles. Clearview's software can, for example, be shown a face from a CCTV still, and if it recognizes the person from its database, it can return not only the URLs to that person's social networking pages, from where they were first seen, but also copies that allow that person to be identified, traced, and contacted. That same year, the ACLU sued the biz, claiming it violated Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which requires organizations operating in the US state to obtain explicit consent from its residents to collect their biometric data, which includes their photographs.


AI-driven biometry and the infrastructures of everyday life

#artificialintelligence

Over the past years, we have become witness to the exponentially growing proliferation of biometric technologies: facial recognition technology and fingerprint scanners in our phones, sleep-pattern detection technology on our wrists or speech-recognition software that facilitates auto-dictation such as captioning. What all these technologies do is measure and record some aspect of the human body or its function: facial recognition technology measures facial features, fingerprint scanners measure the distance between the ridges that make up a unique fingerprint, sleep-pattern detection measures movement in our sleep as a proxy for wakefulness, and so on. AI is fundamentally a scaling technology. It is walking in the footsteps of many other technologies that have deployed classification and categorisation in the name of making bureaucratic processes more efficient, from ancient library systems to punch cards, to modern computer-vision technologies that'know' the difference between a house, a road, a vehicle and a human. The basic idea of these scaling technologies is to minimise situations in which individual judgement is required (see also Lorraine Daston's seminal work on rules).


Clearview AI agrees to restrict sales of its faceprint database

#artificialintelligence

Clearview AI has proposed to restrict sales of its faceprint database as part of a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The controversial facial recognition firm caused a stir due to scraping billions of images of people across the web without their consent. As a result, the company has faced the ire of regulators around the world and numerous court cases. One court case filed against Clearview AI was by the ACLU in 2020, claiming that it violated the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). That act covers Illinois and requires companies operating in the state to obtain explicit consent from individuals to collect their biometric data.