Lawmakers work to restrict use of facial recognition software

So many executive orders, so much twitter. What to do? Well, discuss it here for one...

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highdesert
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Lawmakers work to restrict use of facial recognition software

#1 Post by highdesert » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:34 am

US politicians expressed concerns about the accuracy and growing use of facial recognition software, at a hearing on Wednesday. The technology is being developed by firms including Amazon and Microsoft and increasingly used by law enforcement worldwide. Some facial recognition technologies misidentify women and people of colour.

Civil liberties and privacy groups have raised concerns about how the data for these programs is being gathered. "This is some real-life Black Mirror stuff that we're seeing here," said New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a reference to a science-fiction TV show that explores the dark side of technology. US lawmakers are working on a proposal for a bill to limit the use of facial recognition.

Some tech experts have raised concerned about how growing facial recognition databases- controlled by governments and private companies - are being used. "I think we need to pause the technology and let the rest of it catch up," said Meredith Whittaker, co-director of New York University's AI Now Institute and a witness at the hearing. She argued rules needed to be put in place requiring consent for facial recognition software. Currently, in the US it is enough for a person to be able to see the camera to grant consent.

Ms Whittaker said corporate interest should not be allowed to "race ahead" and incorporate this technology into their systems without safeguards. Companies that have said they are working on developing facial recognition programs include Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook. Companies collect data to build their facial recognition software in multiple ways including through CCTV footage and by scraping websites including photo-sharing sites like Flickr and Facebook. Photo filters like the ones used on Instagram and Snapchat can also be used to hone details of faces.

Police forces in the US have pointed to the successful use of facial recognition technology to identify missing children and criminals. But biases in the algorithms have led to misidentification. Those accused of crimes because of facial recognition software are often not told the technology has been used. There are also concerns the technology could be used by authoritarian regimes to monitor citizens. Countries like China already have extensive surveillance systems set up. Facial recognition makes it easier to track a person's movement.

While the technology is not flawless now, some lawmakers wondered about the implications as the technology becomes more accurate. "If we only focus on the fact that they're not getting it right with facial recognition, we missed the whole argument," said Rep Mark Meadows, from North Carolina. "Irrespective of its accuracy, there are intrinsic concerns with this technology and its use," Representative Gerry Connolly from Virginia told the panel. This was the third hearing the US House of Representative Oversight Committee has held on the facial recognition technology in less than a year.
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-51130904

This is a topic that in the past has united groups with concerns over privacy on the left and the right. I hope they can do the same on any proposed legislation.
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Re: Lawmakers work to restrict use of facial recognition software

#2 Post by featureless » Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:12 am

I have some seriously mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, it does allow LEO to identify criminals/terrorists/rapists/murderers quickly in times that might be critically necessary. On the other hand, it does allow LEO to identify anyone quickly (and, unfortunately, .gov has the ability to label anyone an enemy combatant these days). I don't really want to live in a police state and since I can say with 100 percent certainty that proper safeguards do not and will not exist, I'll go with my preference of democracy is messy and life is not without risk.

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Re: Lawmakers work to restrict use of facial recognition software

#3 Post by Wino » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:13 pm

Anyone expecting privacy in this day and age is being naive. There ain't no putting the genie back in the lamp. One would have to live like Ted Kaczynski and even then no guarantees you'd be completely off grid.
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Re: Lawmakers work to restrict use of facial recognition software

#4 Post by harriss » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:22 pm

Wino wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:13 pm
Anyone expecting privacy in this day and age is being naive. There ain't no putting the genie back in the lamp. One would have to live like Ted Kaczynski and even then no guarantees you'd be completely off grid.
Maybe you can't put the genie back in the oil lamp but you sure can put toothpaste back in the tube. Cut off the bottom and take a spoon and put the toothpaste back in the tube from the bottom then use a heat element and pressure to reseal the tube.

Of course law enforcement in its infinite wisdom loves technology in its quest to keep us safe. :sarcasm: So they want to squeeze all the toothpaste out and smear it all over the place and throw the tube away kind of like what children do. The basic truth is that technology is a double edged sword and unless there are strong constraints on law enforcement they will run roughshod over the people.
Is ignorance bliss? NO! It's suffering. Suffering ends when ignorance ends.

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Re: Lawmakers work to restrict use of facial recognition software

#5 Post by K9s » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:47 pm

featureless wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:12 am
I have some seriously mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, it does allow LEO to identify criminals/terrorists/rapists/murderers quickly in times that might be critically necessary. On the other hand, it does allow LEO to identify anyone quickly (and, unfortunately, .gov has the ability to label anyone an enemy combatant these days). I don't really want to live in a police state and since I can say with 100 percent certainty that proper safeguards do not and will not exist, I'll go with my preference of democracy is messy and life is not without risk.
Look at the UK (everything on CCTV) and tell me that works for you? I have no mixed feelings about increasing the level of surveillance. And I know that surveillance is FAR more prevalent than most Americans realize. It is bad. Almost 100%. It has gone too far and Americans are clueless about it.

Remember that accused criminals have rights and very few people actually commit violent crimes. Giving up your vehicles, guns, and knives would make things safer, according to many.
The border between civilization and savagery is porous and patrolled by opportunists. Resist fascism. Vote like your democracy depends on it.

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Re: Lawmakers work to restrict use of facial recognition software

#6 Post by featureless » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:56 pm

K9s wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:47 pm
featureless wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:12 am
I have some seriously mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, it does allow LEO to identify criminals/terrorists/rapists/murderers quickly in times that might be critically necessary. On the other hand, it does allow LEO to identify anyone quickly (and, unfortunately, .gov has the ability to label anyone an enemy combatant these days). I don't really want to live in a police state and since I can say with 100 percent certainty that proper safeguards do not and will not exist, I'll go with my preference of democracy is messy and life is not without risk.
Look at the UK (everything on CCTV) and tell me that works for you? I have no mixed feelings about increasing the level of surveillance. And I know that surveillance is FAR more prevalent than most Americans realize. It is bad. Almost 100%. It has gone too far and Americans are clueless about it.

Remember that accused criminals have rights and very few people actually commit violent crimes. Giving up your vehicles, guns, and knives would make things safer, according to many.
Agreed, K9s. I don't support it but it could have its beneficial uses (not even the Batman could be trusted with it, he had to give the power to Morgan Freeman). It's too bad we can't use technology responsibly. It creeps me out knowing someone/thing is likely listening to everything around me just because I have a phone. Google was kind enough to send me an email showing everywhere I'd been last year. :shifty:

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Re: Lawmakers work to restrict use of facial recognition software

#7 Post by K9s » Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:48 pm

featureless wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:56 pm
K9s wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:47 pm
featureless wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:12 am
I have some seriously mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, it does allow LEO to identify criminals/terrorists/rapists/murderers quickly in times that might be critically necessary. On the other hand, it does allow LEO to identify anyone quickly (and, unfortunately, .gov has the ability to label anyone an enemy combatant these days). I don't really want to live in a police state and since I can say with 100 percent certainty that proper safeguards do not and will not exist, I'll go with my preference of democracy is messy and life is not without risk.
Look at the UK (everything on CCTV) and tell me that works for you? I have no mixed feelings about increasing the level of surveillance. And I know that surveillance is FAR more prevalent than most Americans realize. It is bad. Almost 100%. It has gone too far and Americans are clueless about it.

Remember that accused criminals have rights and very few people actually commit violent crimes. Giving up your vehicles, guns, and knives would make things safer, according to many.
Agreed, K9s. I don't support it but it could have its beneficial uses (not even the Batman could be trusted with it, he had to give the power to Morgan Freeman). It's too bad we can't use technology responsibly. It creeps me out knowing someone/thing is likely listening to everything around me just because I have a phone. Google was kind enough to send me an email showing everywhere I'd been last year. :shifty:
And people continue to buy Alexa or voice remotes that always listen for your command or whatever else they hear.
The border between civilization and savagery is porous and patrolled by opportunists. Resist fascism. Vote like your democracy depends on it.

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Re: Lawmakers work to restrict use of facial recognition software

#8 Post by featureless » Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:33 pm

K9s wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:48 pm
And people continue to buy Alexa or voice remotes that always listen for your command or whatever else they hear.
Right? All the little cams on our laptops are covered. My TV is dumb. My fridge is dumb. I can't imagine bringing an Alexa or similar into our house. But we do have cell phones, so...

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Re: Lawmakers work to restrict use of facial recognition software

#9 Post by K9s » Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:18 pm

featureless wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:33 pm
K9s wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 2:48 pm
And people continue to buy Alexa or voice remotes that always listen for your command or whatever else they hear.
Right? All the little cams on our laptops are covered. My TV is dumb. My fridge is dumb. I can't imagine bringing an Alexa or similar into our house. But we do have cell phones, so...
Eventually we won't be able to get "unconnected" appliances, thermostats, doorbells, etc.

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The border between civilization and savagery is porous and patrolled by opportunists. Resist fascism. Vote like your democracy depends on it.

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