Eccentric spectacle-maker Scott Urban kickstarted his Reflectacles in 2016: ray-ban-style frames inset with highly retroreflective material that is visible from hundreds of meters and strobes under a flash, making for fantastic photos. Read the rest
When a man tried to enter his own house, his Nest doorbell got suspicious and snapped the doorlock shut. Nest's facial recognition feature confused the man, B.J. May, with the Batman T-shirt he was wearing, and apparently even Batman isn't allowed through the front door without the owner's consent.
— B.J. May (@bjmay) September 17, 2018
Nest was just following orders, and May didn't hold a grudge. In a later tweet he said, "To answer some questions: Yes, the door was unlocked. My family was home, and my son was in/out the front door playing. I unlocked the door using my pin. I also could have used the phone app. It was no biggie, I just thought the face recognition fail was funny."
Calgary's Chinook Centre and Market Mall -- operated by Cadillac Fairview -- have been caught running background software that analysed the footage from the CCTVs in the malls' electronic directories to guess at the age and gender of visitors, without consent or notification. Read the rest
After learning that Amazon was pushing the use of Rekognition, its facial recognition tool, for use in policing (a global phenomenon that is gaining momentum despite the material unsuitability of these tools in policing contexts), the ACLU of Northern California had a brainwave: they asked Rekognition to evaluate the faces of the 115th Congress of the United States. Read the rest
Microsoft on Friday joined a growing number of tech industry voices who want the government to limit the use of facial recognition technology. Read the rest
Caroline Haskins reports that Juggalos have mastered the art of defeating facial recognition technology. And they didn't even have to try hard...
You might be thinking: “Well, if Juggalos constantly wear this makeup, wouldn’t the facial recognition technology just continually recognize their Juggalo faces?” According to @tahkion, that depends on the Juggalo consistently wearing the same style of makeup. This problem also assumes that Juggalos wear their makeup all the time—which they don’t. The style is reserved for Insane Clown Posse shows and other special occasions, like the March on Washington.
Only Apple FaceID, which uses a different method to most facial recognition technology, is not fooled. But it only works close up.
Back in January, Microsoft announced that they were "proud" to support ICE. Honestly, what company wouldn't be? A U.S. federal contract, no matter how large your coffers and corporate reach might be, is a good get, due both to the amount of American lucre you'll pocket and the visuals that come from being trusted by one of the most powerful countries in the world to meet their cloud computing needs.
But hey: it isn't January anymore and Microsoft in June, 2018 is looking a little bit like IBM back in the 1930s.
Under the Trump Administration's direction, ICE and other Homeland Security entities have been busy breaking up families, emotionally scarring thousands of innocent kids, and driving their anguished caretakers into cages, or worse, to suicide. That Microsoft's Azure cloud computing services are helping such villainy along, in any capacity, might be good in the short-term, for the company's bottom line, but the optics are shit. More than this, the company's association with ICE is raising the hackles of some of their their most important assets: not their shareholders or board, but their employees.
According to Gizmodo, a number of Microsoft employees, who prefer to remain anonymous in the interest of protecting their careers, have stepped forward to report that the computer technology company's relationship with ICE has led to growing dissent among the company's workforce. When Giz questioned Microsoft's PR team on the matter, the response was a bit wishy-washy:
Read the rest
Microsoft condemned family separation by ICE in a statement to Gizmodo but declined to specify if specific tools within Azure Government, like Face API—facial recognition software—were in use by the agency.
Next year, high schools in Lockport New York will use the "Aegis" CCTV and facial recognition system to track and record the interactions of students suspected of code of conduct violations, keeping a ledger of who speaks to whom, where, and for how long. Read the rest
In a new ruling, US District Judge James Donato included extraordinary recriminations directly against Facebook and its lawyers, whom he upbraided for deliberately misinterpreting his earlier rulings about who can sue Facebook over privacy violations and what kinds of damages they can seek. Read the rest
The London Metropolitan Police use a facial recognition system whose alerts have a 98% false positive rate; people falsely identified by the system are stopped, questioned and treated with suspicion. Read the rest
Comcast may be the most hated company in America, but Ticketmaster has sure given it a run for its money, through a combination of monopolism, rent-seeking, shady dealing with scalpers and total indifference to its customers and the entertainers it nominally serves, but as bad as it is, there's still plenty of innovative ways for it to get worse. Read the rest
The South Wales Police deployed a facial recognition technology at the June 2017 Champions League soccer final in Cardiff, and 92% of the people identified by the system as matches for suspiciousness were false positives. Read the rest
Chinese authorities hate jaywalkers and they've decided to use technology to end the practice; in Shenzhen, jaywalkers are identified with facial recognition and sent threatening texts while their faces are displayed on oversized nearby LED screens; in Daye, Hubei province, shouting robotic squirt-guns target and soak anyone who attempts to walk into an intersection against the lights. Read the rest
Last April, the industrial capital of Shenzhen installed anti-jaywalking cameras that use facial recognition to automatically identify people crossing without a green pedestrian light; jaywalkers are shamed on a public website and their photos are displayed on large screens at the intersection, Read the rest