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China banned millions of people with poor social credit from transportation in 2018

China banned people from buying plane or train tickets 23 million times last year because their social credit scores were too low, according to the Associated Press, which obtained a copy of a government report. The government rolled out the travel ban on people with low social credit scores last May. According to a report from China’s National Public Credit Information Center from last week, people have been blocked 17.5 million times from purchasing airplane tickets, and 5.5 million times from buying high-speed train tickets. These people had become “discredited” for unspecified behavioral crimes. That’s up from only 6.15 million…

New rear 3D cameras could bring “world-facing” facial recognition to iPhones

New iPhones released this year by Apple will include rear-facing 3D depth-sensing cameras, opening up a range of new possible use cases for the applications they enable, such as facial recognition, supplier sources indicate to Fast Company’s Mark Sullivan. The feature’s inclusion was reported a month ago, though supply-chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously reported that it would likely first show up in an iPad later this year. A recent presentation from True Depth camera laser supplier Lumentum suggests the 3D “world-facing” camera will have significant benefits for portrait photos and augmented reality (AR), enabling improved 3D mapping for gaming and…

Home Assistants with ‘Moral AI’ Could Call Police on Owners

The Daily Mail reported that home assistants could soon report their owners to the police for breaking the law based on a “Moral A.I.” system, if the ideas of academics in Europe are implemented. The newspaper reported that academics at the University of Bergen in Norway discussed the idea of a “moral A.I.” for smart home assistants, like the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod, during a conference. Moral A.I. would reportedly make home assistants have to “decide whether to report their owners for breaking the law,” or whether to stay silent. “This would let them to weigh-up whether…

Fit to drive? Don’t worry your car will judge you

When you’re sleepy, stressed or have had a few drinks, you’re not in the best position to drive – or even make that decision. But automated cars could soon make that call for you. In Europe, more than 25,000 people lose their lives on the road every year, while another 135,000 are seriously injured. The main culprits are speed, alcohol or drug driving, non-use of seat belts, distraction, and fatigue. Europe is the world’s safest region with 49 deaths per million inhabitants, but given that the EU aims to bring road safety deaths down to almost zero by 2050, there…

How much does your government spy on you? U.N. may rank the snoopers

A U.N. human rights expert has published a draft list of questions to measure countries’ privacy safeguards, a first step toward ranking the governments that are potentially doing the most snooping on their own citizens. Joseph Cannataci, the U.N. special rapporteur on the right to privacy, submitted the draft questionnaire – touching on everything from chatrooms to systematic surveillance – to the U.N. Human Rights Council, and invited comments by June 30. Cannataci’s role investigating digital privacy was created by the council in 2015 after Edward Snowden’s revelations about U.S. surveillance, and he has strongly criticized surveillance activities by the…

2008: Mind Control by Cell Phone

Hospitals and airplanes ban the use of cell phones, because their electromagnetic transmissions can interfere with sensitive electrical devices. Could the brain also fall into that category? Of course, all our thoughts, sensations and actions arise from bioelectricity generated by neurons and transmitted through complex neural circuits inside our skull. Electrical signals between neurons generate electric fields that radiate out of brain tissue as electrical waves that can be picked up by electrodes touching a person’s scalp. Measurements of such brainwaves in EEGs provide powerful insight into brain function and a valuable diagnostic tool for doctors. Indeed, so fundamental are…

Police in Canada Are Tracking People’s ‘Negative’ Behavior In a ‘Risk’ Database

Police, social services, and health workers in Canada are using shared databases to track the behaviour of vulnerable people—including minors and people experiencing homelessness—with little oversight and often without consent. Documents obtained by Motherboard from Ontario’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) through an access to information request show that at least two provinces—Ontario and Saskatchewan—maintain a “Risk-driven Tracking Database” that is used to amass highly sensitive information about people’s lives. Information in the database includes whether a person uses drugs, has been the victim of an assault, or lives in a “negative neighborhood.” The Risk-driven Tracking Database…

Forget Face ID, the LG G8 comes with palm-reading “Hand ID” biometrics

I can just imagine a group of Saturday Night Live writers sitting around after the iPhone X launch. “Hey guys,” one of them says, “How can we make fun of Face ID?” ” I know!” says another, “Let’s do ‘Hand ID,’ we’ll say the phone can read your palm like a psychic.” “That sounds great!” says a third. “I’ll cue up a laugh track.” And from there the sketch brainstorming evolves into progressively stupider body parts you could get a smartphone to “ID.” LG is actually doing this, though. On the LG G8 ThinQ, you can stick your hand up for…

Google forced to reveal which products have microphones following privacy backlash

Google has been accused of violating users’ trust after it failed to disclose that its Nest Secure home security and alarm system contained a microphone. The company’s secret was revealed earlier this month when it announced that voice-activated Google Assistant technology could now be used on the Nest device. The existence of a microphone on the Nest Secure has never been mentioned in any product material for the device, which a Google spokesperson said was “an error” on the company’s part. The existence of a microphone on the Nest Secure has never been mentioned in any product material for the…

This App Wants to Track Every Homeless Person in San Francisco

On paper, it looks as if San Francisco shouldn’t have a homelessness problem. There are as many permanent housing beds as people who need them. The city spends hundreds of millions of dollars to help get people off the streets, and last year voters approved a measure to raise $300 million annually to tackle the issue by taxing local companies. Yet there are about 7,500 homeless in the city because of soaring rents and the difficulty of treating substance abuse, mental illness, and other health concerns. Now the world capital of innovation and Big Data is betting that streamlined information…

Are you being scanned? How facial recognition technology follows you, even as you shop

As digital billboards record customers’ reactions to advertisements tailored to them, just who is safeguarding Australians’ privacy? If you shop at Westfield, you’ve probably been scanned and recorded by dozens of hidden cameras built into the centres’ digital advertising billboards. The semi-camouflaged cameras can determine not only your age and gender but your mood, cueing up tailored advertisements within seconds, thanks to facial detection technology. Westfield’s Smartscreen network was developed by the French software firm Quividi back in 2015. Their discreet cameras capture blurry images of shoppers and apply statistical analysis to identify audience demographics. And once the billboards have…

China blocks 17.5 million plane tickets for people without enough ‘social credit’

The Chinese government blocked 17.5 million would-be plane passengers from buying tickets last year as a punishment for offences including the failure to pay fines, it emerged. Some 5.5 million people were also barred from travelling by train under a controversial “social credit” system which the ruling Communist Party claims will improve public behaviour. The penalties are part of efforts by president Xi Jinping‘s government to use data-processing and other technology to tighten control on society. Human rights activists warn the system is too rigid and may lead to people being unfairly blacklisted without their knowledge, while US vice-president Mike Pence last year denounced…

Airlines admit having cameras installed on back of passengers’ seats

Three of the world’s biggest airlines have admitted some of their planes have cameras installed on the backs of passenger seats. American Airlines, United Airlines and Singapore Airlines have new seat-back entertainment systems that include cameras. They could also be on planes used by other carriers. Companies that make the entertainment systems are fitting them with cameras to offer passengers options such as seat-to-seat video conferencing, according to an American Airlines spokesman. But American, United and Singapore all say they have never activated the cameras and have no plans to use them. A passenger on a Singapore flight tweeted a…

Facebook attacked over app that reveals period dates of its users

Facebook is battling fresh controversy on both sides of the Atlantic amid claims that it has been receiving highly personal data from third-party apps. The swirl of bad news around the company comes after its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, was criticised for meeting the culture secretary, Jeremy Wright, having refused to appear before an influential parliamentary committee in Westminster. The meeting came amid speculation that the government may soon publish a white paper potentially paving the way for an independent social media regulator. But the Observer has been told that a row is brewing over how the regulator should be…

Feds share ‘TERROR’ watch list with 1,400 private groups

The federal government has acknowledged that it shares its terrorist watchlist with more than 1,400 private entities, including hospitals and universities, prompting concerns from civil libertarians that those mistakenly placed on the list could face a wide variety of hassles in their daily lives. The government’s admission that it shares the list so broadly comes after years of insistence that the list is generally not shared with the private sector. Gadeir Abbas, a lawyer with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has filed a constitutional challenge to the government’s use of the watchlist, called the government’s admission shocking. “We’ve always…

Google admits error over hidden microphone

Google has acknowledged that it made an error in not disclosing that one of its home alarm products contained a microphone. Product specifications for the Nest Guard, available since 2017, had made no mention of the listening device. But earlier this month, the firm said a software update would make Nest Guard voice-controlled. On Twitter, concerned Nest owners were told the microphone “has not been used up to this point”. Business Insider was first to report the development. The Nest Guard is one component in the Nest Secure range of home security products. The system includes various sensors that can…

FBI plotting to keep DNA of ENTIRE population on file to create ‘nation of suspects’

President Donald Trump has signed the Rapid DNA Act into law which means the police can routinely take DNA samples from people who are arrested but not yet convicted of a crime. The law, which was signed in 2017 and comes into effect this year, will require several states to connect Rapid DNA machines to Codis – the national DNA database controlled by the FBI. These machines, which are portable and about the same size as a desktop printer, are expected to become as routine a process as taking fingerprints. But John W. Whitehead from The Rutherford Institute believes it…

Arizona: You may soon have to give your DNA to the state and pay $250 for the privilege

Arizona could soon be one of the first states to maintain a massive statewide DNA database. And if the proposed legislation passes, many people — from parent school volunteers and teachers to real estate agents and foster parents — will have no choice but to give up their DNA. Under Senate Bill 1475, which Rep. David Livingston, R-Peoria, introduced, DNA must be collected from anyone who has to be fingerprinted by the state for a job, to volunteer in certain positions or for a myriad of other reasons. The bill would even authorize the medical examiner’s office in each county to take DNA…

How did the police know you were near a crime scene? Google told them

The suspects in an Eden Prairie home invasion last October wore gloves, dressed in black, and covered their faces with masks. But despite their efforts to remain unseen, a trail of evidence was left behind — not at the crime scene, but with Google. Knowing the Silicon Valley giant held a trove of consumer mobile phone location data, investigators got a Hennepin County judge to sign a “reverse location” search warrant ordering Google to identify the locations of cellphones that had been near the crime scene in Eden Prairie, and near two food markets the victims owned in Minneapolis and…

All your Google searches will now be used against you by the state to block your right to buy a gun

Be careful what you search for online. Big Tech, in lockstep with Big Brother, is reportedly plotting to use your internet browsing history against you in order to deprive you of your Second Amendment rights. At the close of 2018, the state of New York – which recently legalized infanticide (baby murder), to thunderous applause – put forth a new gun control bill that, if passed, would require anyone who wants to purchase a gun to first hand over three years’ worth of social media history, as well as one year’s worth of internet search history. Prior to be granted…

15 Years in Prison for Clicking on Terrorist Propaganda Even Once – New UK Law

Upon the adoption of a new legislation, Home Secretary Sajid Javid said that the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act “gives the police the powers they need to disrupt plots and punish those who seek to do us harm.” The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 has received Royal Assent on 12 February, making the bill an Act of Parliament. The act makes provision in relation to terrorism, enabling persons at ports and borders to be questioned for national security and updating the offence of obtaining information likely to be useful to a terrorist to cover material that is only viewed or streamed, rather than downloaded to form a permanent record. The act sees…

More than 26 million people have taken an at-home ancestry test….

As many people purchased consumer DNA tests in 2018 as in all previous years combined, MIT Technology Review has found. Surging public interest in ancestry and health—propelled by heavy TV and online marketing—was behind a record year for sales of the tests, which entice consumers to spit in a tube or swab their cheeks and ship the sample back to have their genomes analyzed. By the start of 2019, more than 26 million consumers had added their DNA to four leading commercial ancestry and health databases, according to our estimates. If the pace continues, the gene troves could hold data…

Smart Meters to start tracking dementia patients in the U.K. as Big Brother wields medical surveillance tech against its own citizens

Smart Meters have drastically changed how utility companies collect energy usage data from customers. Old-fashioned meters had to be checked manually, but they ensured privacy for the homeowner. Now Smart Meters share data on energy usage with third parties, tracking and analyzing every use of natural gas, electricity, and water within the home. This valuable energy usage data is now being shared with governments and medical institutions to conduct medical surveillance against citizens. In the United Kingdom, Smart Meters will be used to track dementia patients’ household habits to monitor for sudden changes that indicate illness, falls, or mental decline.…

Saudi Arabia creates app to track female family members

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have created an application that allows male guardians to track their female family members and prevent them from traveling due to a recent rise in the number of women fleeing the oil-rich and ultra-conservative kingdom. The app, called Absher meaning “Good Tidings” in Arabic, allows men to obtain or revoke their authorization with a few clicks. Through Absher, men can perform several tasks, such as paying parking fines, renewing driving license, and granting travel permissions to their female “dependents,” such as wives, daughters and sisters. It is equipped to give a comprehensive readout of each journey…

France, Saudi Arabia Experiment With AI Speed Cameras: Officials in Saudi Arabia and France explore using artificial intelligence to eventually replace human tickets review entirely

Artificial intelligence algorithms could soon take over the duty of reviewing speed camera and red light camera tickets. Officials in Saudi Arabia and France have investigated the use of AI to further automate the processing of citations generated by automated ticketing machines. Photo enforcement vendors demonstrated the technology last month in the traffic safety pavilion of the Al-Jenadriyah national heritage festival outside Riyadh. The new technique uses machine learning algorithms to analyze speed camera video, processing the images to determine whether it is possible to issue tickets for failing to wear a seat belt or using a cell phone behind…

Facial biometrics catches passport impostor at JFK Airport

– Federal authorities say a 26-year-old woman who arrived at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City was caught using a passport that didn’t belong to her. When the unidentified woman landed from Mexico City, she presented a United States passport to a Customs and Border protection officer. The CBP officer suspected that the woman may be an impostor so he took her aside for further inspection.  The officer used a new biometric machine with facial recognition to determine if the passenger was the true bearer of the U.S. passport. CONTINUE @ FOX

Jeff Bezos Protests the Invasion of His Privacy, as Amazon Builds a Sprawling Surveillance State for Everyone Else

The National Enquirer has engaged in behavior so lowly and unscrupulous that it created a seemingly impossible storyline: the world’s richest billionaire and a notorious labor abuser, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, as a sympathetic victim. On Thursday, Bezos published emails in which the Enquirer’s parent company explicitly threatened to publish intimate photographs of Bezos and his mistress, which were apparently exchanged between the two through their iPhones, unless Bezos agreed to a series of demands involving silence about the company’s conduct. In a perfect world, none of the sexually salacious material the Enquirer was threatening to release would be incriminating or embarrassing to…

FBI seeking to covertly create national DNA database that turns everyone into a suspect … and you help create it if you use DNA analysis services

In the 2002 science fiction movie, Minority Report, a specialized police department known as PreCrime arrests “criminals” before any crime ever takes place based on information supplied to them by three psychics called precogs. When the movie was released 17 years ago, it seemed like the ultimate in escapist fantasy; it certainly did not seem possible that the police would start going around arresting people on the basis of what they might do based on their personality types and other information. Fast forward to 2019, and suddenly the movie seems prophetic of what could really be taking place in the…

Amazon’s Home Security Company Is Turning Everyone Into Cops: Neighbors, a social media crime-reporting app owned by Amazon, creates a digital ecosystem in which you are encouraged to assume the worst about your neighbors

“MY PACKAGE THIEF HAS BEEN ARRESTED!!!,” reads a post on Neighbors, a “neighborhood watch” social network run by Ring, which is a home security systems company owned by Amazon. The post shows two side-by-side images: one is of a man as captured on a home security camera, and the other is of someone who appears to be the same man, as photographed in a mugshot. “This man stolen my packages along with my neighbors packages on 1/14/19 and I’m happy to report that he was arrested on 2/3/19 by the NYPD,” the post caption reads. The comments universally congratulate the…

Real-Time Crime Centers to spy on motorists in real-time

Not content with Real Time Crime Centers (RTCC) forcing businesses to spy on customers in real-time. Homeland Security has now decided to use RTCCs to spy on motorists in real-time. Last month an article in the Baton Rogue Proud revealed that the Baton Rouge Police Department’s RTCC will be using red light cameras to spy on motorists. “Baton Rouge Chief Administrative Officer Darryl Gissel said the verbiage of the new contract with Verra Mobility, the traffic camera company, allows BRPD to access those live camera feeds.” Verra Mobility’s slogan is, “A new kind of smart mobility company focused on safe cities,…

Dementia patients to be tracked by smart meters so that doctors can monitor any sudden changes that indicate illness, falls or mental decline

The NHS is to use energy smart meters to monitor dementia patients in their homes. The devices will track patients’ daily routines, such as when they boil the kettle, cook dinner or turn the washing machine on. They will flag up any sudden change in behaviour which could indicate an illness, a fall or a decline in their mental state. The meters will be able to send alerts to family members or carers, who can pop round to check if the patient is all right. Experts say the devices will enable patients to live independently for longer without going into care,…

San Francisco Could Be First to Ban Facial Recognition Tech

If a local tech industry critic has his way, San Francisco could become the first US city to ban its agencies from using facial recognition technology. Aaron Peskin, a member of the city’s Board of Supervisors, proposed the ban Tuesday as part of a suite of rules to enhance surveillance oversight. In addition to the ban on facial recognition technology, the ordinance would require city agencies to gain the board’s approval before buying new surveillance technology, putting the burden on city agencies to publicly explain why they want the tools as well as the potential harms. It would also require…

Science FACT: Mind-Reading Technology Is Now Reality

It sounds like something out of a Philip K. Dick science fiction novel: a system that uses artificial intelligence to translate people’s thoughts into intelligible, recognizable speech. But fiction it is not: a team of neuro-engineers at Columbia University did, in fact, develop such a system. Information on the technology was published yesterday in Scientific Reports. In a press release, Columbia University explained how the system works: By monitoring someone’s brain activity, the technology can reconstruct the words a person hears with unprecedented clarity. This breakthrough, which harnesses the power of speech synthesizers and artificial intelligence, could lead to new ways…

Police stop people for covering their faces from facial recognition camera then fine man £90 after he protested

A man has been fined after refusing to be scanned by controversial facial recognition cameras being trialled by the Metropolitan Police. The force had put out a statement saying “anyone who declines to be scanned will not necessarily be viewed as suspicious”. However, witnesses said several people were stopped after covering their faces or pulling up hoods. Campaign group Big Brother Watch said one man had seen placards warning members of the public that automatic facial recognition cameras were filming them from a parked police van. “He simply pulled up the top of his jumper over the bottom of his…

Major DNA Testing Company Sharing Genetic Data With the FBI

The decision by a prominent consumer DNA-testing company to share data with federal law enforcement means investigators have access to genetic information linked to hundreds of millions of people. FamilyTreeDNA, an early pioneer of the rapidly growing market for consumer genetic testing, confirmed late Thursday that it has granted the Federal Bureau of Investigation access to its vast trove of nearly 2 million genetic profiles. The arrangement was first reported by BuzzFeed News. Concerns about unfettered access to genetic information gathered by testing companies have swelled since April, when police used a genealogy website to ensnare a suspect in the…

Prisons Across the U.S. Are Quietly Building Databases of Incarcerated People’s Voice Prints

Roughly six months ago at New York’s Sing Sing prison, John Dukes says he was brought out with cellmates to meet a corrections counselor. He recalls her giving him a paper with some phrases and offering him a strange choice: He could go up to the phone and utter the phrases that an automated voice would ask him to read, or he could choose not to and lose his phone access altogether. Dukes did not know why he was being asked to make this decision, but he felt troubled as he heard other men ahead of him speaking into the…

Now, Refrigerators Are Watching Us Too – “Smart” Coolers Are Coming to a Store Near You

If you’ve been feeling like you just don’t have enough “smart” devices spying on you every day, I have great news. “Smart coolers” may be coming to a store near you. Years ago, you would have sounded like a lunatic if you said that a refrigerator was watching you. But, like other new technology, yesterday’s serious mental health symptom is today’s reality. Walgreens is piloting a new line of “smart coolers”, which are refrigerators equipped with cameras that scan shoppers’ faces and make inferences on their age and gender. On January 14, the company announced its first trial at a store in Chicago. The…

Japan-U.S. law enforcement fingerprint data-sharing pact kicks off, raising privacy concerns

Earlier this month, Japan and the United States began sharing fingerprint data among their law enforcement agencies under a bilateral agreement. The little-known agreement, negotiated in 2014 by the administrations of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and then-U.S. President Barack Obama, is intended to strengthen cooperation on fighting terrorism and organized crime by allowing their national databases to be cross-referenced. While the agreement allows Japan’s National Policy Agency and American law enforcement agencies like the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to work more closely together, human rights advocates fear the data might be abused. Here are the key points…

The Government loves you, they would never use this against you: ‘Whisper’ laser tech sends audible messages to specific people

Just when you stopped questioning that little voice in your head, MIT announced they discovered a way to send specific messages to specific people through a laser.  I’m sure this technology is at least 30-50 years old but it’s finally being revealed to the slaves.  This world is going to be a crazy place in 50-100 years. Thank God I won’t be around to see it. Researchers from MIT have discovered a way to send highly targeted audio signals directly to someone’s ear at a distance using laser beams. The system works using the “photoacoustic” effect, where water vapor in…

Illinois Supreme Court rules against Six Flags in landmark biometric privacy case

The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled against Six Flags in a landmark Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) case which could result in hundreds of companies paying thousands of dollars in damages for failing to properly notify and obtain consent from people about the collection of their biometrics. The decision (PDF) reverses the decision of the appellate court that the violations alleged are merely “technical” in nature, and do not constitute harm under the statute. Early indications were that at least three of the court’s seven justices were sceptical of Six Flags’ argument, also used in many of the approximately 100…

In Florida, facial recognition is advancing faster than lawmakers can regulate it

During a presentation about electronic privacy rights on Wednesday in Tallahassee, Florida House members received their first formal lesson on facial recognition surveillance – an increasingly popular machine-learning policing tool developing faster than lawmakers can understand it. The briefing to the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee was led by four law enforcement officials, including Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, and comes as technology giants like Amazon respond to a growing demand for more advanced law enforcement technology. And as the demand soars, the need to address privacy laws is greater than ever, says subcommittee chair Rep. James Grant, who is trying…

The FBI Says It Can Neither Confirm Or Deny Social Media Monitoring Programs It Publicly Secured Contracts For

It’s no secret the FBI engages in social media surveillance. It has a contract with Dataminr to sift through tweets directly from Twitter’s firehose. For years it has engaged in suspicionless pre-investigation “assessments,” which compile every publicly-available piece of information the agency can gather without a warrant or subpoena. (Assessments also allow the agency to gather info from law enforcement-only databases, but that’s not the issue at hand here.) From this starting point, the FBI can decide whether or not the person it targeted in its non-investigation investigation is worth investigating. Public posts on social media services have zero expectation…

Here comes the push for digital license plates…

If you don’t believe your car is just a big, high-speed gadget, take a moment to count the screens. You might find one in the place of the old analog instrument cluster. Definitely in the center console, maybe even one bigger than an iPad. Don’t forget to look in the back of the headrests. Now you can add one more screen to your ride—if you don’t mind having to get out to see it. At the tail end of 2018, Michigan approved Public Act 656, making electronic license plates legal. Yes, the stubbornly unchanging, unconnected rectangles that have been identifying…

Privately produced satellites open uncharted territory in data collection: hundreds of small satellites capturing over a million photos of Earth each day for commercial use, offering unimagined possibilities and consequences

David Martin reports on a new, uncharted frontier in the collection of data created by hundreds of privately produced satellites whose millions of images are available to the public and not just the government. His story will be broadcast on 60 Minutes on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. Planet Labs, the satellite company, has launched hundreds of small satellites for commercial use, such as monitoring the health of crops. They get over a million photos from them each day. “I’m always astonished that almost every picture we get down, we compare it to the picture from…

This Chinese app tells you if you’re within 500 metres of someone in debt, the app is part of China’s vision for a social credit system by 2020

Google knows a lot about you: what you look like, how you sound, your favourite place to get coffee. But all that information stays within Google, it isn’t handed over to the UK government, who can then use it to decide if you deserve a mortgage or can go on holiday. In China, things work a little differently. The country is gearing up to launch a social credit system in 2020, giving all citizens an identity number that will be linked to a permanent record. Like a financial score, everything from paying back loans to behaviour on public transport will…

Coming Soon to a Police Station Near You: The DNA ‘Magic Box’

They call it the “magic box.” Its trick is speedy, nearly automated processing of DNA. “It’s groundbreaking to have it in the police department,” said Detective Glenn Vandegrift of the Bensalem Police Department. “If we can do it, any department in the country can do it.” Bensalem, a suburb in Bucks County, near Philadelphia, is on the leading edge of a revolution in how crimes are solved. For years, when police wanted to learn whether a suspect’s DNA matched previously collected crime-scene DNA, they sent a sample to an outside lab, then waited a month or more for results. But…

IRS Becoming Big Brother With $99-Million Supercomputer – will give the agency the “unprecedented ability to track the lives and transactions of tens of millions of American citizens”

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is building a $99-million supercomputer that will give the agency the “unprecedented ability to track the lives and transactions of tens of millions of American citizens,” tax expert Daniel Pilla reports. The IRS is already dangerous enough, notes Pilla. “The IRS lays claim to your data without court authority more so than any other government agency. And to make matters worse, they share the data with any other federal, state or local government agency claiming an interest, including foreign governments.” The IRS already receives billions of tax documents annually, and the amount of information the…

Social media can predict what you’ll say, even if you don’t participate

There have been a number of high-profile criminal cases that were solved using the DNA that family members of the accused placed in public databases. One lesson there is that our privacy isn’t entirely under our control; by sharing DNA with you, your family has the ability to choose what everybody else knows about you. Now, some researchers have demonstrated that something similar is true about our words. Using a database of past tweets, they were able to effectively pick out the next words a user was likely to use. But they were able to do so more effectively if…

New IRS spy software is ultimate Big Brother…

One of the reasons identify theft is considered by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to be the crime of the century is because of the IRS. The Internal Revenue Service makes growing demands for information about people’s businesses and private lives every day. There is no such thing as personal privacy these days. That the IRS sends citizens a so-called “Privacy Act Notice” in all its mailings is a farce. The IRS lays claim to your data without court authority more so than any other government agency. And to make matters worse, they share the data with any…

Your mobile phone is a propaganda machine that keeps you wired to narratives and upset 24/7 about meaningless stories, fake news, and opinions.

While unlimited information is one of the greatest achievements in human history, it is also one of the worst things we’ve ever invented. Instead of using the internet to learn, most people use it to lash out over bullshit that has no effect on their daily lives. And now it is in your pocket at all times of the day giving you a microphone to give your opinion about everything that happens, egged on by the media who profits from it all. We give them clicks and hate each other, they make money and advance whatever their agenda is. Just…

Humans to download their SOULS onto microchips so they can ‘live FOREVER’

Richard Skellett, a founder of Digital Anthropologist and an expert for Future of Work, has warned of a future in which British workers have chips inserted underneath their skin. The process has already been trialled with company BioTeq fitting 150 implants in the UK. And Sweden-based firm Biohax told the Sunday Telegraph that it is in discussions with several British companies about microchipping. But as humans and machines become more in-sync, it could open up all sorts of possibilities – including being able to live forever. Speaking to Daily Star Online, Mr Skellett explained: “There’s a lot of talk at…

Facebook Accused of Using ’10-Year Challenge’ Meme to Improve Its Facial Recognition

While the “10-Year Challenge” spreading across social media may appear to be the latest innocuous viral phenomenon, sweeping upwards of 5 million users and multiple celebrities into the challenge, privacy experts and technology analysts are sounding the alarm about the social engineering motives behind the trend. According to the theory, the meme – which calls for Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) users to upload a photo of themselves a decade ago alongside their latest photo – was deliberately crafted by Facebook as a means to harvest photos for the sake of improving the social media giant’s facial…

DARPA Proposes An AI That Can Monitor The Entire World For Threats

That most famous characterization of the complexity causality, a butterfly beating its wings and causing a hurricane on the other side of the world, is thought-provoking but ultimately not helpful. What we really need is to look at a hurricane and figure out which butterfly caused it — or perhaps stop it before it takes flight in the first place. DARPA thinks AI should be able to do just that. A new program at the research agency is aimed at creating a machine learning system that can sift through the innumerable events and pieces of media generated every day and…

Canadian banks suggest biometrics and federated ID to support digital economy

Canadian Bankers Association says Canada must create a digital identification system, potentially utilizing technology such as blockchain, biometrics and document review over a live video connection. The association’s chief executive says moving away from a paper-based, face to face process towards a modern identification system of this kind is needed to “unlock the full potential” of the digital revolution that is underway. Neil Parmenter added in his speech in Toronto today that the need for digital identification “will only grow more urgent” as Ottawa explores the possibilities of open banking, the payments system is modernized and blockchain and artificial intelligence…

Elon Musk wants to wire a chip into your skull…

There was an announcement made last year that a Chinese scientist called Dr He Jiankui had used the gene-editing technique Crispr and managed to the world’s first genetically modified babies. At the same time, Elon Musk announced the true purpose of Neuralink. Read on to find out what his vision of Neuralink holds for us. What is Neuralink? Neuralink is one of the companies founded by Elon Musk. His plan for the company is to ‘save the human race’. The idea behind saving humanity is to build a hard drive that can be implanted in the brain. What is Elon…

Amazon’s Ring Security Cameras May Have Let Employees Spy on Customers: Report

It shouldn’t be the case that inviting smart technology into our homes to safeguard against potential threats might instead lead to serious breaches of individual privacy, and yet reports of such violations of user trust are increasingly common. Now, Amazon’s Ring security cameras have come under fire for just that. An investigation from the Intercept’s Sam Biddle published Thursday alleged that owners of Ring security cameras may have been spied on by employees of the company, an allegation Ring denies. However, citing sources familiar with Ring’s privacy practices, the Intercept reported that employees who were reportedly granted “highly privileged access”…

Chip Your Babies: The Bluetooth diaper has arrived

Now, no, I’m not a parent and I’ve never had a baby. But even I know that diapers can be pretty gross. Especially when they are real blowouts. But, is this the answer? I’m not sure so… The South Korean company Monit has created wearable tech for our babes. “Monit created a cookie-sized sensor with Bluetooth that attaches to the outside of a baby’s diaper. The sensor can detect whether there’s pee or poo in the diaper and alert parents and caregivers. No more need for a diaper sniff test. Using a smart diaper sensor can reduce instances of diaper…

Cars are the next phones as war for your personal data goes into overdrive

As vehicles get smarter, your car will be keeping eyes on you. This week at CES, the international consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, a host of startup companies will demonstrate to global automakers how the sensor technology that watches and analyzes drivers, passengers and objects in cars will mean enhanced safety in the short-term, and revenue opportunities in the future. Whether by generating alerts about drowsiness, unfastened seat belts or wallets left in the backseat, the emerging technology aims not only to cut back on distracted driving and other undesirable behavior, but eventually help automakers and ride-hailing companies make…

You Should Have the Right to Sue Companies (Facebook) That Violate Your Privacy

It is not enough for government to pass laws that protect consumers from corporations that harvest and monetize their personal data. It is also necessary for these laws to have bite, to ensure companies do not ignore them. The best way to do so is to empower ordinary consumers to bring their own lawsuits against the companies that violate their privacy rights. Such “private rights of action” are among EFF’s highest priorities in any data privacy legislation. For example, while there is a lot to like about the new California Consumer Privacy Act (A.B. 375 and S.B. 1121), a significant…