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Government's Use of Facial Recognition to Monitor People


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#1 LFC

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 12:46 PM

EDIT: I updated the thread name. I think this is going to be an ongoing topic.

This should scare the shit out of people. JetBlue, with no opt in or notification, is using facial recognition as your "boarding pass." So where did they get pictures to compare to in the first place? Department of Homeland Security. How's that for scary Orwellian type stuff?

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So how concerned should we be that companies like JetBlue have access to this data?

"You should be concerned," the Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote on Twitter. "It’s unprecedented for the government to collect and share this kind of data, with this level of detail, with this many agencies and private partners. We need proper oversight and regulation to ensure our privacy is protected."

This has been happening for a while behind the scenes, and is likely to become more common. Delta opened the first facial-recognition-powered terminal last year in Atlanta. The Department of Homeland Security in a report last week said that it wants to roll out facial recognition technology to be used on 97 percent of departing airport passengers by 2023.

It's convenient and fairly sci-fi, but it appears a lot of passengers find it quite creepy, particularly because of privacy concerns.

The system called (in somewhat sinister language) "Biometric Exit" cross-references a photo of your face taken when you look into the camera with images from a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) database containing photos of you from passport and visa applications, The Hill reports.

“Once you take that high-quality photograph, why not run it against the FBI database? Why not run it against state databases of people with outstanding warrants?" Professor Alvaro Bedoya, founding director of the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law, told The Verge.

"Suddenly you’re moving from this world in which you’re just verifying identity to another world where the act of flying is cause for a law enforcement search.”

As it stands CBP retains any images in its database that are flagged for inspection (e.g. because someone has outstayed their visa or failed to obtain a visa in the first place). That's a lot of data that departments like the FBI might like to get their hands on, and there's only going to be more of it as the system is rolled out over the next four years.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

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#2 LFC

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 12:54 PM

The U.K. has gone completely over the edge.

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Police fined a pedestrian £90 for disorderly behaviour after he tried to cover his face when he saw a controversial facial recognition camera on a street in London.

Officers set up the camera on a van in Romford, East London, which then cross-checked photos of faces of passers-by against a database of wanted criminals.

But one man was unimpressed about being filmed and covered his face with his hat and jacket, before being stopped by officers who took his picture anyway.

After being pulled aside, the man told police: 'If I want to cover me face, I'll cover me face. Don't push me over when I'm walking down the street.'

It comes just weeks after it was claimed the new technology incorrectly identified members of the public in 96 per cent of matches made between 2016 and 2018.

The cameras have been rolled out in a trial in parts of Britain, with the Met making its first arrest last December when shoppers in London's West End were scanned.

But their use has sparked a privacy debate, with civil liberties group Big Brother Watch branding the move a 'breach of fundamental rights to privacy and freedom of assembly'. Police argue they are necessary to crack down on spiralling crime.

Officers previously insisted people could decline to be scanned, before later clarifying that anyone trying to avoid scanners may be stopped and searched.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#3 Traveler

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 01:18 PM

Good timing. BB just had an article on the topic. It has a different take:

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The fact is, properly used, facial-recognition tools are a boon for governments and citizens alike. In some places, they’ve been deployed to protect borders and other vulnerable sites. In others, they’re helping to fight sex trafficking and find missing children. Police use them to identify suspects, track down fugitives, and speed up investigations. Last year, authorities used the technology to quickly identify the perpetrator in a horrific mass shooting in Maryland.

Down the road, the public benefits could be even more pronounced. Schools may use such software to spot sex offenders and other threats. Airports might use it to speed boarding and security procedures. It has great potential for improving public health. As the software improves, its benefits should only expand.

It’s natural to worry about abuses even so. But a China-style panopticon isn’t on the cards in the U.S. The Fourth Amendment protects citizens against unreasonable government intrusions, and the Supreme Court has forcefully applied it to digital technologies in recent years. Last year, the court ruled that the government may not access historical mobile-phone location data without a warrant, for instance. Overly broad uses of facial-recognition would undoubtedly face similar challenges.
Seems pretty optimistic to me. But FR is coming whether you like it or not, so better get used to it. My take is anytime you use the commons (trains, buses, planes) that are provided by the government, it has a right to use its assets for the public welfare. Of course, that presumes a government of laws. Seems to be a thing of the past these days.
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#4 Beelzebuddy

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 02:06 PM

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Fear Sells!

Cui bono?

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#5 LFC

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 02:23 PM

View PostTraveler, on 17 May 2019 - 01:18 PM, said:


The author ain't too bright. From your quote:

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It’s natural to worry about abuses even so. But a China-style panopticon isn’t on the cards in the U.S. The Fourth Amendment protects citizens against unreasonable government intrusions, and the Supreme Court has forcefully applied it to digital technologies in recent years.

Great! SCOTUS is on board! Let me take a look at that link. Oh, it was the liberal justices plus Roberts. All of the other conservative justices (pre-Kavanaugh) voted against. Nope, nuthin' to worry about here.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer





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