In March, the president of Rekor Systems Inc., Robert Berman, told investors that 2020 was a “transformative year.” The surveillance tech company’s platform, Rekor One, which converts regular cameras into automated license plate readers (ALPR), had proven alluring to cash-strapped state governments during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a new piece on Debugger, OneZero’s consumer tech publication, our columnist Owen Williams writes about his decision to buy a GPS tracker that attaches to his dog’s collar: “Honestly, I felt silly buying a GPS tracker at first, given I’d have reservations about attaching it to a child if I had one. But the peace of mind with a young dog has been worth it.”
One of China’s largest and most pervasive surveillance networks got its start in a small county about seven hours north of Shanghai.
In 2013, the local government in Pingyi County began installing tens of thousands of security cameras across urban and rural areas — more than 28,500 in total by 2016. Even the smallest villages had at least six security cameras installed, according to state media.
Those cameras weren’t just monitored by police and automated facial recognition algorithms. Through special TV boxes installed in their homes, local residents could watch live security footage and press a button to summon police…
The Los Angeles Police Department requested footage from Ring doorbell owners after Black Lives Matter protests in the city last year, according to documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and shared with The Intercept.
The LAPD video requests reference that people were injured during the protests and that property damage was being caused, but the requests were not targeted at a specific crime. Multiple requests were made directly to Ring users, but details about which specific events the LAPD was referring to were redacted in the documents obtained by EFF.
This op-ed was co-authored by Albert Fox Cahn, the founder and executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (S.T.O.P.) at the Urban Justice Center, a New-York based civil rights and privacy group, and a fellow at the Engelberg Center for Innovation Law & Policy at the NYU School of Law.
If you want to teach kids not to play with fireworks, try not to put on a fireworks show as part of the lesson. You don’t warn people that something’s dangerous by showing them just how fun it can be.
In a new piece for The New York Times, writers Charlie Warzel and Stuart A. Thompson detail—and not for the first time—how our smartphones feed a so-called “surveillance economy” that annihilates personal privacy in real and unexpected ways.
Warzel and Thompson obtained a file from an unnamed source containing location data tied to “thousands of Trump supporters, rioters, and passers-by in Washington, D.C.” on the date of the insurrection at the Capitol. …
As millions of demonstrators took to the streets last summer to protest police violence and the killing of George Floyd, government agencies wasted no time in surveilling them with facial recognition software. As authorities began to recommend mask-wearing to combat Covid-19, many activists saw a silver lining. A major study from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published in July 2020 showed that masks fooled certain facial recognition systems up to 50% of the time, suggesting that masks might offer protesters some level of protection from mass surveillance.
That got me wondering: What’s the best way to use…
The coronavirus pandemic unleashed a new era in surveillance technology, and arguably no group has felt this more acutely than refugees. Even before the pandemic, refugees were subjected to contact tracing, drone and LIDAR tracking, and facial recognition en masse. Since the pandemic, it’s only gotten worse. For a microcosm of how bad the pandemic has been for refugees — both in terms of civil liberties and suffering under the virus — look no further than Greece.
In early December, after finding 16 people had illegally crossed the border from Myanmar to Thailand and evaded the mandatory quarantine period, the Thai government said it would start patrolling the border with new surveillance equipment like drones and ultraviolet cameras.
In 2020, this kind of surveillance, justified by the coronavirus pandemic, has gone mainstream. Since March, more than 30 countries have instituted data gathering or surveillance measures questioned by privacy advocates, as OneZero tracked earlier in the year. …
OneZero’s General Intelligence is a roundup of the most important artificial intelligence and facial recognition news of the week.
The facial recognition industry has been quietly working alongside law enforcement, military organizations, and private companies for years, leveraging 40-year old partnerships originally centered around fingerprint databases.
But in 2020, the industry faced an unexpected reckoning.
February brought an explosive New York Times report on Clearview AI, a facial recognition company that had scraped billions of images from social media to create an all-encompassing database, and quietly gave it to thousands of police departments and companies across the world.