Facial Recognition Firm Clearview AI Wins Appeal of UK Fine

New York-based facial recognition software company Clearview AI has had a $9.1 million fine and order to delete UK citizen data reversed by Britain’s General Regulatory Tribunal. The case against Clearview was brought by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, which scored a victory round in May 2022, claiming Clearview violated privacy laws under the General Data Protection Regulation because it did not inform or gain consent of UK citizens before collecting their data. Clearview appealed, and the tribunal found that the selfie-scraping AI firm was not subject to the ICO’s jurisdiction due to a loophole for firms servicing foreign law enforcement. Continue reading Facial Recognition Firm Clearview AI Wins Appeal of UK Fine

Ring Founder Announces His Shift from CEO to Chief Inventor

Ring founder Jamie Siminoff announced that he is stepping down as CEO of the company five years after it was picked up by Amazon. The inventor of the popular video doorbell says that invention is his true passion so he plans on creating new products for Ring as its chief inventor. Discord COO Liz Hamren has been named the new chief exec at Ring. “Liz has a long history in consumer devices and subscription services, building and launching some of the most innovative and beloved consumer products from Oculus to Xbox and more,” wrote Siminoff in a company blog post. Continue reading Ring Founder Announces His Shift from CEO to Chief Inventor

Apple Introduces New iCloud Encryption to Prevent Hacking

Apple is adding a new end-to-end encryption option for iCloud data that will further protect backups, photos and notes. Called Advanced Data Protection, it will shield even Apple from seeing some of the most sensitive data users store on its servers. The change reportedly makes it impossible for Apple to provide law enforcement with the contents of encrypted files. The company says the security enhancements will help protect its customers from the most sophisticated hackers. The feature rolls out this week for those participating in Apple’s Beta Software Program. Continue reading Apple Introduces New iCloud Encryption to Prevent Hacking

France Sanctions Clearview AI €20M for Violating GDPR Rules

Clearview AI, the New York-based facial recognition firm that is targeting 100 billion facial images in its database by the close of 2022, has been fined €20 million ($19.7 million) by France’s data protection authority, the CNIL, for what the agency says is the illegal collection and processing of personal biometric data belonging to French citizens. The fine comes after the CNIL last year ordered Clearview to cease data collection and delete its existing database, instructions the company reportedly ignored. This is Clearview’s third breach of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) pertaining to France. Continue reading France Sanctions Clearview AI €20M for Violating GDPR Rules

Biden Calls on Congress to Cease Immunity for Social Media

President Biden welcomed guests to the White House last week for the inaugural United We Stand Summit, an event to combat hate speech and violence. “There are core values that should bring us together as Americans, and one of them is standing together against hate, racism, bigotry, and violence that have long haunted and plagued our nation,” Biden told the bipartisan group. Participants gave the president a standing ovation when he specified that he will work to “hold social media companies accountable for spreading hate.” “I’m calling on Congress to get rid of special immunity for social media companies and impose much stronger transparency requirements,” Biden said. Continue reading Biden Calls on Congress to Cease Immunity for Social Media

AI Laws Becoming Decentralized with Cities First to Regulate

With the federal government still in the early phase of regulating artificial intelligence, cities and states are stepping in as they begin to actively deploy AI. While managing traffic patterns is straightforward, when it comes to policing and hiring practices, precautions must be taken to guard against algorithmic bias inherited from training data. The challenges are formidable. As with human reasoning, it is often difficult to trace the logic behind a machine’s decisions, making it challenging to identify a fix. Municipalities are evaluating different solutions, the goal being to prevent programmatic marginalization. Continue reading AI Laws Becoming Decentralized with Cities First to Regulate

EU’s Sweeping AI Act Takes Tough Stance on High Risk Use

The European Union’s pending Artificial Intelligence Act — the world’s first comprehensive effort to regulate AI — is coming under scrutiny as it moves to law. The Act proposes unplugging AI deemed a risk to society. Critics say it draws too heavily on general consumer product safety rules, overlooking unique aspects of AI, and is too closely tied to EU market law. This could limit its applicability as a template for other regions evaluating AI legislation, contravening the EU’s desired first-movers status in the digital sphere. Continue reading EU’s Sweeping AI Act Takes Tough Stance on High Risk Use

Pew Research Finds Americans Suspicious of AI and Biotech

A Pew Research study finds the public has a cautionary attitude toward artificial intelligence and human enhancements, with concerns about potentially unintended consequences of autonomous machines, and fear of what accelerated change in these areas might mean for society. The survey of more than 10,250 U.S. adults in November 2021 examined opinions of six technologies broken down into two categories: AI and bioengineering, with crossover in the area of AI-enhanced exoskeletons. Across all categories, a majority believe that federal government and “end users” should be involved — along with the creators or inventors — in setting standards. Continue reading Pew Research Finds Americans Suspicious of AI and Biotech

Europe and U.S. Data-Sharing Pact to Replace Privacy Shield

The Supreme Court’s recent FBI v. Fazaga decision regarding surveillance has been interpreted by some as an obstacle to Biden administration efforts to secure an effective replacement for the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. Originally implemented in 2016, thousands of U.S. companies had been relying on the Privacy Shield to centralize customer data. In 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) nullified the framework after finding U.S. surveillance laws provide a loophole for unauthorized access to data belonging to EU citizens. Earlier today however, the U.S. and European Union agreed “in principle” to a revamped framework for data transfers. Continue reading Europe and U.S. Data-Sharing Pact to Replace Privacy Shield

Clearview AI Courts Investors While Facing Privacy Pushback

Clearview AI is positioning itself for a major expansion that is already generating major controversy. At a December financial presentation, the New York-based firm reportedly predicted it will have 100 billion facial images in its database by the end of 2022 — or about 14 photos for each of the earth’s 7 billion people. And there is said to have been talk of surveilling gig economy workers, identifying people based on how they walk and remotely scanning fingerprints. While the company’s 34-year-old founder and chief exec Hoan Ton-That is careful to present the firm as a crime-fighting tool, its broader implications are chilling. Continue reading Clearview AI Courts Investors While Facing Privacy Pushback

Chinese Drone Maker DJI Suspected of U.S. Data Harvesting

China’s SZ DJI Technology, a leading global producer of unmanned aerial vehicles, has come under scrutiny as a national security threat. The Shenzhen-based company is suspected of turning unwitting Americans into surveillance operatives by harvesting data about U.S. infrastructure from their drones. Last week, the Biden administration imposed a U.S. investment ban against DJI and seven other companies for enabling China’s military-industrial complex. Although the Treasury Department says human rights violations are behind the ban, reports say the FCC wants DJI’s products completely removed from the U.S. market. Continue reading Chinese Drone Maker DJI Suspected of U.S. Data Harvesting

Meta Says User Safety Prompts Delay for Default Encryption

Last month, Meta Platforms announced it would delay until 2023 the introduction of end-to-end encryption (E2EE) by default on Messenger and Instagram. Now the company is shedding light on its decision, which walks the line between issues of privacy and public safety. Child advocates said the change would help abusers avoid detection. Since the purpose of encryption is to shield sensitive information for things like financial and health information, it wouldn’t do to have human monitors poking around there. Meta is using artificial intelligence in an attempt to prevent bad behavior before it happens. Continue reading Meta Says User Safety Prompts Delay for Default Encryption

Meta Halts Face Recognition Opt-In, Continues Development

Facebook parent Meta has announced it is shutting down the social network’s facial recognition technology program, deleting more than a billion individual face templates. Even users who have opted in will no longer be automatically recognized in photos and videos, according to the company. Meta vice president of artificial intelligence Jerome Pesenti emphasized the technology’s helpfulness in auto-generated image descriptions for the blind and visually impaired, conceding it was necessary to weigh “the positive use cases for facial recognition against growing societal concerns, especially as regulators have yet to provide clear rules.” Continue reading Meta Halts Face Recognition Opt-In, Continues Development

European Parliament Recommends Ban of Facial Recognition

The European Parliament passed a non-binding resolution that calls for banning law enforcement’s use of biometric surveillance, including facial recognition. The vote signals what Parliament is willing to adopt as part of the Artificial Intelligence Act being developed by the European Commission. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) advocate for a permanent ban on automated recognition of individuals in public spaces in addition to the use of private facial recognition databases such as those developed by companies including New York-based Clearview AI.  Continue reading European Parliament Recommends Ban of Facial Recognition

Clearview Facial Recognition Adds Deblur and Mask Removal

Undeterred by lawsuits and demands to stop scraping social media, facial recognition firm Clearview AI is plowing ahead with efforts to expand its database and introduce new tools. Company co-founder and CEO Hoan Ton-That said Clearview has collected more than 10 billion images from social media and the Internet, while the company is adding new tools to help users, often law enforcement, obtain matches. Most recently, the company developed a deblur tool in addition to mask removal, which uses machine learning to recreate the covered part of a person’s face. However, use of such tools raises concerns that individuals could be wrongly identified or biases could result. Continue reading Clearview Facial Recognition Adds Deblur and Mask Removal