Facial Recognition - search results
Video: Pippa King: “Police Covertly Using Facial Recognition Software Without Discussion In Parliament!”
The FBI’s Facial Recognition Database Combines Lo-Res Photos With Zero Civil Liberties Consideration
Ohio admits facial recognition used to scour state driver’s license database without public knowledge
The glasses stymie facial recognition software with infrared LED light. (Image from press release of The National Institute of Informatics, Japan)
Those concerned with online privacy may soon get another weapon to defend it. Two Japanese scientists have designed glasses that confuse face recognition technology without affecting one`s vision.
An associate professor at Tokyo's national Institute of Informatics, Isao Echizen, together with Professor Seiichi Gohshi from Kogakuin University, have created a pair of glasses preventing internet search engines, social networks and other services using face recognition technology from identifying photos of a wearer.
The device is equipped with near-infrared light sources which distort the features of one who wears the glasses for cameras and at the same time do not affect his or her vision.
The glasses are powered by a battery placed in the wearer’s pocket. But the researchers say they are working on an improved version of their ‘privacy visor’ which would not need a separate battery.
Some companies have already demonstrated interest in the device, the inventors said. When mass-produced the glasses are expected to be priced very reasonably, at about $1 a pair.
According to Professor Echizen, the essential goal of the technology is to protect “photographed subjects from the invasion of privacy caused by photographs taken in secret and unintentional capture in camera images."
The idea of the device came about as Echizen discovered that Google face recognition technology was able to recognize individuals wearing five different types of sunglasses from various angles.
Face recognition technology is extensively used by law enforcement services, internet search engines and social networks. The technology also has been adopted by shops to collect statistical data about their customers for better marketing.
Execution of facial detection (examples). Area in green frame indicates successful detection. (Image from press release of The National Institute of Informatics, Japan)
Published time: March 08, 2013 12:47
New Google Glass app InSight takes the experience of spotting your friends to the next level, as it recognizes your peers by their clothes and accessories – matching specific color patterns and textures to the user.
This new human recognition software makes it impossible to lose your friends in a packed place, such as an airport, concert hall or shopping center.
The app creates a ‘fashion fingerprint’ for every friend based on the outfit they are wearing including clothes, jewelry, glasses, etc.
‘Fashion fingerprint’ is generated by snapping pictures of the user and creating a file of that image called a ‘spatiogram’, which calculates patterns and spatial distribution of colors on the user and analyzes the information to identify that particular person later on in the distance or from a different angle.
The new system is being partly funded by Google and was presented at the HotMobile technology conference last week, while currently still being developed by the Duke University in North Carolina.
So far the app has been tested by 15 volunteers and managed to identify people correctly 93 per cent of the time.
The software does not use facial recognition systems to locate individuals since it is unlikely that the users will be looking straight into the Google Glass’ camera, InSight developer Srihari Nelakuditi told New Scientist.
He also noted that the ‘fashion fingerprint’ lasts only as long as the user does not change clothes. Afterwards, a new snapshot must be made and a new ‘fingerprint’ created. Thus, for privacy protection, all the user has to do is change outfits, argues Nelakuditi.
Google Glass is a new wearable computer with a head-mounted display. It displays information in a smartphone-like format hands-free and can interact with the internet via natural language voice commands.
The new product does raise new privacy issues, especially considering that users will be able to video record everything through Google Glass without being noticed by others.
Australian Senator Cory Bernardi believes that Google Glass will be “the end of privacy as we know it” because the device can be used for massive surveillance, The Register quoted him as saying.
“A single Google Glass wearer in your favorite restaurant could capture your image and your conversation without you ever knowing,” argues Bernardi. “The footage would be stored on the Google servers, your voice could be translated into text and with the use of facial recognition, could be actually matched to your Google profile.”
Google also has been facing a row of privacy battles in EU and US for its current products.
Just last month European data protection agencies said they intend to crack down on the US internet giant Google before summer after it allegedly failed to follow their orders to comply with EU privacy laws.
Since January, Google has also been embroiled in its biggest privacy battle yet in the UK over reportedly tracking users’ online habits. At least 10 UK citizens began legal action with dozens more lining up. According to media estimates up to 10 million Britons could join in.
Google is accused of evading security settings on Apple’s devices and Safari’s web browser in order to keep tabs on people’s online preferences.
In today's On the News segment: The fight for election reform got some huge support; Ohio Gov. John Kasich has joined the growing list of Republican governors trying to screw poor people in their states; Sen. Bernie Sanders took a stand against corporate greed by introducing his newest piece of legislation, the Corporate Tax Fairness Act; and more.
Thom Hartmann here – on the news...
You need to know this. Yesterday, Senator Bernie Sanders took a stand against corporate greed, by introducing his newest piece of legislation, the Corporate Tax Fairness Act. And now, Rep. Jan Schakowsky has announced that she too, is fighting in the House to make corporations pay their fair share. The Corporate Tax Fairness Act will stop corporations from sheltering income in the Caymen Islands, and ends tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas. Richard Trumpka, president of AFL-CIO said this legislation "would increase investment, employment, and wages in the United States." According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, this bill would raise more than $590 billion in revenue over the next decade – eliminating the need for nearly half the proposed austerity looming in the sequester. And it's the best way to keep – and create – American jobs. It's time to make corporations pay their fair share for the benefits of using our commons, and for making huge profits off hard-working Americans. Call your senators, and your representative, and tell them to support the Sanders-Schakowsky Corporate Tax Fairness Act.
In screwed news...Ohio Governor John Kasich has joined the growing list of Republican governors trying to screw poor people in their states. Kasich is pushing a plan to reduce income taxes for rich people in his state, and cut the business tax rate in half, while replacing the revenue by raising the state sales tax. This seems to be the newest Republican "screw-the-poor" fad, as Governors in Red States all over our country, like Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Dave Heineman of Nebraska, and Sam Brownback of Kansas, are all pushing this regressive tax scheme. As poor and working people typically spend 100% of their disposable income, an increase in sales tax hurts those who can least afford it. As the Think Progress Blog points out, Kasich's plan would raise taxes on the poorest 60% of the states residents, while giving the wealthiest 1% in the state an average tax cut of over $10,000. As state budget cuts are already devastating many of the social programs that poor people in these states rely on, an additional tax increase will only make it more difficult for them to survive. The wealthy don't need more tax breaks. It's time for Republican governors like John Kasich to start working for all of the people in their states - not just their largest campaign donors.
In the best of the rest of the news...
Today, the fight for election reform got some huge support. One of the nation's largest teachers unions, the National Education Association, is pushing President Obama to prioritize protecting our democratic process. In a letter to Obama, NEA president, Van Roekel said, "We must correct this threat to our democracy by ensuring: 1) universal voter registration; 2) equitable administration by state of voting procedures and access to the polls; and 3) that we curb the influence of money in politics that has resulted from the infamous Citizens United decision." That pretty much says it all. Republicans around our nation gave voter-suppression their all in 2012, and already in 2013, we've seen scheme after scheme to rig the next election. It isn't surprising that those responsible for crafting the leaders of our future, recognize the importance of protecting our nation's historic democratic principles. Mr. Roekel's ideas are a great starting point in the fight to protect our democracy... but let's go even further. Take the election-rigging ability away from Republican governors and legislators by moving to a national popular vote. Go toNationalPopularVote.com.
In Australia – unsubsidized renewable energy is now cheaper than fossil fuels. A new study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance found that wind farms in Australia are supplying energy at $80/MWh, while coal plants are more costly, at $143/MWh. As the chief executive at Bloomberg New Energy Finance said, "The perception that fossil fuels are cheap, and renewables are expensive, is now out of date." It's actually been out of date for a while if you account for all the externalities of fossil fuels – from diseases to war – that are being paid for by taxpayers instead of by oil companies. It's time for a Manhattan Project for renewable energy right here in America.
Seattle residents won't be stalked from the sky. In an announcement today, Mayor Mike McGinn said the Seattle police department will not use two small surveillance drones it obtained through a federal grant. In a brief statement, Mayor McGinn said "I spoke with Seattle Police Chief John Diaz, and we agreed that it was time to end the unmanned aerial vehicle program, so that SPD can focus its resources on public safety and the community building work." This is a huge victory for privacy advocates, who've been protesting the proposed use of drones, as the program would have allowed police to use facial recognition software during surveillance. Seattle is the second city to announce this week that drones won't be spying on residents. On Monday, Charlottesville, Virginia passed a resolution imposing a two-year moratorium on drone use. Our Constitution guarantees the right of privacy, and it's nice to know that some of our leaders still understand that.
And finally...who knew that former President George W. Bush enjoyed painting himself in the nude? The Smoking Gun is in possession of several images it claims were hacked from personal emails belonging to people close with the Bush family. And those emails contain a number of paintings that were allegedly done by the former President himself. Two of the paintings depict Bush bathing – one in the shower and one in the bathtub. A third picture shows Bush hard at work over a canvas painting a church. A hacker names "Guccifer" is claiming responsibility for the stolen emails – and he says there's more to come. It's rumored that Bush plans to sell his painting – and any proceeds will go to his war crimes legal defense fund.
And that's the way it is today – Friday, February 8th, 2013. I'm Thom Hartmann – on the news.
Introducing its new search engine, Facebook assured users that the system is strongly privacy aware. However, prank searches made by one of the beta testers have revealed that the system may expose just a bit more people would want.
The new ‘Graph Search’ system was presented by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his team last week. The engine was designed to search Facebook for specific information, be it a Mexican restaurant your Facebook friends like the most or single people from India in your neighborhood.
The current Graph Search is a beta version still to be tested; it is limited to searches of people, their likes, places, interests and photos. Posts and status messages so far are out of reach, but soon may become searchable as well, Forbes reported.
During the presentation Zuckerberg and his crew devoted a special part to the issue of Facebook privacy. They assured the audience that the engine is only going to process data that has been allowed to be processed by the users themselves.
To demonstrate the system at work the team conducted a number of sample searches including ‘Friends who like Star Wars and Harry Potter’, ‘Languages my friends speak’, ‘Music liked by people who like Mitt Romney’ and ‘Music liked by people who like Obama’.
However, one of the people invited to test the beta version of the engine soon found out that Graph Search can find way more than Star Wars fans and music preferences of Obama supporters.
In his blogpost published on Wednesday, computer programmer and ‘Gadget Geek’ Tom Scott revealed some peculiar searches he conducted using Graph Search. The results turned out to be quite controversial, if not scandalous.
Scott found out that the new search engine will readily find ‘Married people, who like prostitutes’ and ‘Spouses of married people who like Ashley Madison’, a dating website for people who are already in a relationship.
Furthermore, he was able to find ‘Islamic men interested in men who live in Tehran, Iran’, where homosexual relations are prohibited by law and ‘Places where they’ve worked’.
Something corporate America would not like – a search exposing ‘Current employers of people who like Racism’.
These are just some of the searches Scott was able to do using the new Graph Search. When posting the results, he blurred the names and the pictures of those he found.
Commenting on his research, Scott said that although the search does not directly violate Facebook privacy settings, users just need to be aware of the new search engine capabilities and might want to reconsider the information they put on the web.
“If it’d be awkward if it was put on a screen in Times Square, don’t put it on Facebook. Oh, and check your privacy settings again,” he said.
Facebook has repeatedly been accused of violating the privacy of its users. In early January, the EU pressured the world`s most popular social network to provide more data protection. In September, Facebook was forced to stop using its facial recognition software in Europe following an investigation by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner in Ireland.
Envy and dissatisfaction on Facebook
A recent study conducted by German scientists revealed that envy and dissatisfaction are among most popular feelings Facebook users experience while browsing through their friends’ ‘timelines’.
The survey of some 600 Facebook users showed that one third of them have negative feelings as using the social network mostly because they are envying their ‘Facebook friends’, whose life seems more interesting and wholesome than their own.
“Although respondents were reluctant to admit feeling envious while on Facebook, they often presumed that envy can be the cause behind the frustration of ‘others’ on this platform – a clear indication that envy is a salient phenomenon in the Facebook context,” said project manager Dr. Hanna Krasnova from Humboldt-Universität.
She explained that access to positive news and the profiles of seemingly successful friends bolsters social comparison, which can easily provoke envy.
The survey found that about one-fifth of all recent online and offline events provoking envy among respondents were posted on Facebook. According to the researchers, respondents’ envy often led to “embellishing their Facebook profiles” creating what they called “envy spiral.”
It was also established that the envy provoked by looking through Facebook lead many to “greater life dissatisfaction”.
“Considering the fact that Facebook use is a worldwide phenomenon and envy is a universal feeling, a lot of people are subject to these painful consequences,” Co-author Helena Wenninger of TU-Darmstadt University said.
January 11th, 2013
Read by 21,401 people
In early 2012 the U.S. Congress authorized the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act. Within this bill is a provision calling for the deployment of some 30,000 robotic drones over the skies of America by 2015, arguably the boldest overt domestic surveillance initiative to have ever been introduced in the land of the free. With an average of some 600 drones allocated per state, this future network of highly advanced surveillance systems promises to give law enforcement, military and intelligence assets unprecedented video and audio access into the lives of every single American.
Privacy advocates are justifiably outraged.
But whenever government attempts to institute a ban on contraband items, or pass draconian laws, or introduce new tracking and surveillance methods, rebellious elements within the target populace rapidly develop counter-strategies and technologies to marginalize the threat.
Oftentimes, billion dollar government initiatives and development projects are rendered almost useless by low-tech strategies and designs.
Artist and fashion designer Adam Harvey, who objects to the authoritarian nature of the global surveillance state, has done just that.
In an effort to counter the high-tech integrated drone surveillance systems soon to be fused into intelligence networks across the country, Harvey and a group of partners have developed a line of clothing dubbed Stealth Wear.
Making its debut on January 17th, the Stealth Wear line will include hoodies, scarves, hats, and t-shirts that will make the wearer invisible to thermal imaging cameras widely used throughout the unmanned aerial vehicle community.
The idea is that the material blocks heat signatures, captured using infrared sensors, which give people away to surveillance helicopters or drones from the skies above. [link]
The flagship Stealth Wear line will include:
- The anti-drone hoodie and anti-drone scarf: Garments designed to thwart thermal imaging, a technology used widely by UAVs.
- The XX-shirt: A x-ray shielding print in the shape of a heart, that protects your heart from x-ray radiation
- And the Off Pocket: An anti-phone accessory that allows you to instantly zero out your phone’s signal
Via: Adam Harvey Projects
Harvey and his project team aren’t just limiting the scope of their work to anti-drone technology either.
They’ve introduced new techniques to counter computer vision (CV), also known as facial recognition.
CV Dazzle is camouflage from computer vision (CV). It is a form of expressive interference that combines makeup and hair styling (or other modifications) with face-detection thwarting designs. The name is derived from a type of camouflage used during WWI, called Dazzle, which was used to break apart the gestalt-image of warships, making it hard to discern their directionality, size, and orientation. Likewise, the goal of CV Dazzle is to break apart the gestalt of a face, or object, and make it undetectable to computer vision algorithms, in particular face detection.
Because face detection is the first step in automated facial recognition, CV Dazzle can be used in any environment where automated face recognition systems are in use, such as Google’s Picasa, Flickr, or Facebook
Source: CV Dazzle
They’ll also be launching a product called Off the Pocket for your cell phone, a technology that is capable of zeroing out your phone’s broadcast signal, making it invisible to GPS and mobile network triangulation.
Building off previous work with CV Dazzle, camouflage from face detection, Stealth Wear continues to explore the aesthetics of privacy and the potential for fashion to challenge authoritarian surveillance. Presented by PRIMITIVE at TANK MAGAZINE HQ will be a suite of new designs, made in collaboration with NYC fashion designer Johanna Bloomfield, that tackle some of the most pressing and sophisticated forms of surveillance today.
Source: Primitive London
Accompanying each project will be videos and tests revealing the process behind each technology and counter technology.
Author: Mac Slavo
Views: Read by 21,401 people
Date: January 11th, 2013
Copyright Information: Copyright SHTFplan and Mac Slavo. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to www.shtfplan.com. Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.
‘Misremembering King Rewrites the Press’s Own Role in History’ – Transcript of CounterSpin's special...
‘Our Identity Is Often What’s Triggering Surveillance’ – CounterSpin interview with Brandi Collins on...
In some areas of the world, payment systems that require palm scanning or face scanning are already being tested. We have entered an era where biometric security is being hailed as the “solution” to the antiquated security methods of the past. We are being promised that the constant problems that hackers are causing with [...]
If you live in the United States, you live in a high tech surveillance grid that is becoming more oppressive with each passing day. In America today, the control freaks that run things are completely obsessed with watching, tracking, monitoring and recording virtually everything that we do. If we continue on the path that [...]
The national security state has an annual budget of around $1 trillion. Of that huge pile of money, large amounts go to private companies the federal government awards contracts to. Some, like Lockheed Martin or Boeing, are household names, but many of the contractors fly just under the public's radar. What follows are three companies you should know about (because some of them can learn a lot about you with their spy technologies).
L3 is everywhere. Those night-vision goggles the JSOC team in Zero Dark Thirty uses? That's L3. The new machines that are replacing the naked scanners at the airport? That's L3. Torture at Abu Ghraib? A former subsidiary of L3 was recently ordered to pay $5.28 million to 71 Iraqis who had been held in the awful prison.
“L-3 Communications is one of the main subcontractors involved with production of the US’s lethal Predator since the inception of the programme. Predators are used by the CIA to kill ‘suspected militants’ and terrorise entire populations in Pakistan and Yemen. Drone strikes have escalated under the Obama administration and 2013 has already seen six strikes in the two countries.”
Unsurprisingly, L3 Communications is well connected beyond the national security community. Its chief financial officer recently spoke at Goldman Sachs, at what the financial titan hilariously refers to as a “fireside chat.”
L3 also supplies local law enforcement with its night-vision products and makes a license-plate recognition (LPR) device, a machine with disturbing implications. LPR can be mounted on cop cruisers or statically positioned at busy intersections and can run potentially thousands of license plates through law enforcement databases in a matter of hours. In some parts of the country LPR readers can track your location for miles. As the Wall Street Journal noted, surveillance of even “mundane” activities of people not accused of any crime is now “the default rather than the exception.”
L3 Communications embodies the totality of the national security and surveillance state. There is only minimal distinction between its military products and police products. Its night-vision line is sold to both military and law enforcement. Its participation in the drone program is now, as far as we know, limited to countries in the Middle East and North Africa. But in the words of the New York Times editorial board, “[i]t is not a question of whether drones will appear in the skies above the United States but how soon.” The NYT estimates the domestic drone market at $5 billion, likely a conservative estimate, and contractors will vie for that money in the public and private sphere. L3's venture into airports, the border of where domestic policy meets foreign policy in the name of national security, is therefore significant both symbolically and materially.
In many ways, that is the most important story of the post-9/11 United States: the complete evaporation of the separation of foreign and domestic polices. Whether we're talking about paramilitarized police, warrantless wiretapping, inhumane prison conditions, or drone surveillance, there exist few differences between a United States perpetually at war and a United States determined to police and imprison its people in unacceptable ways and at unacceptable rates.
Harris Corporation: Stingray “IMSI catcher”
Harris Corp. is a huge provider of national security and communications technology to federal and local law enforcement agencies. Though many people have never heard of it, Harris is a major player in the beltway National Security community. President and CEO William M. Brown was recently appointed to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, and in 2009 the Secret Service offered Harris a contract to train its agents in the use of Harris' Stingray line. The Secret Service awarded the company additional contracts in 2012.
If you've heard of Harris at all, it's likely been because its controversial Stingray product has been getting attention as an information-gathering tool with major privacy implications. The Stingray allows law enforcement to cast a kilometers' wide digital net over an area to determine the location of a single cell phone signal – and in the process collect cell data on potentially hundreds of people who aren't suspected of any crimes. EFF claims the device is a modern version of British soldiers canvassing the pre-Revolutionary colonies, searching people's homes without probable cause – exactly what the Fourth Amendment was created to prevent. EFF describes the process this way:
“A Stingray works by masquerading as a cell phone tower—to which your mobile phone sends signals to every 7 to 15 seconds whether you are on a call or not— and tricks your phone into connecting to it. As a result, the government can figure out who, when and to where you are calling, the precise location of every device within the range, and with some devices, even capture the content of your conversations.”
According to the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC),the FBI has been using similar technology since 1995. But a recent federal case, United States v. Rigmaiden, has raised Fourth Amendment questions regarding whether law enforcement officials need to obtain a warrant before employing a Stingray. The judge in that case determined that the government hadn't provided enough information about how the devices work, and ordered that the information collected in Rigmaiden couldn't be used in court.
What's especially troubling about Stingrays is that the government either won't say, or doesn't understand, how the technology works. The WSJ reported that the US Attorney making the requests “seemed to have trouble explaining the technology.”
And it's not just the federal government that uses Stingrays. As Slate notes,referencing FOIA documents recently obtained by EPIC, “the feds have procedures in place for loaning electronic surveillance devices (like the Stingray) to state police. This suggests the technology may have been used in cases across the United States, in line with a stellar investigation by LA Weekly last year, which reported that state cops in California, Florida, Texas, and Arizona had obtained Stingrays.”
Harris has been tightlipped about the Rigmaiden case, but expect to be hearing a lot about Stingrays in the future.
BI2 makes a fine pitch. Its iris-scanning technology can be made to sound very appealing. Iris scans are relatively non-invasive, there's no touching involved so the likelihood of spreading disease is reduced, and as B12 states on its Web site, "there are no lasers, strong lights or any kind of harmful beams.” It also claims that iris scanning is "strictly opt-in," and that a “user" (who in most cases would be better described as an “arrestee”) “must consciously elect to participate” in the scanning. (When I was arrested by the NYPD while covering a protest, the scan was voluntary -- though the NYPD didn't tell me that, a protester did. But if I refused to submit to it I could have been punished with an extra night in jail.)
Reuters reported that BI2's iPhone-based iris scanner -- called MORIS -- is capable of taking an accurate scan from four feet away, “potentially without the person being aware of it.” MORIS has drawn harsh condemnation from the ACLU. The primary concern from privacy advocates is that law enforcement will deploy this technology in an overly broad way. ACLU senior policy analyst Jay Stanley told Reuters that he didn't want the police “using them routinely on the general public, collecting biometric information on innocent people.”
MORIS isn't just for irises; it also scans faces. In 2011, the Wall Street Journal reported that the sheriff's office in Pinellas County, Florida, “uses digital cameras to take pictures of people, download the pictures to laptops, then use facial-recognition technologies to search for matching faces.” New database technology like Trapwire, a data mining system that analyzes “suspicious behavior” in purported attempts to predict terrorist behavior, makes face scanning potentially more worrisome. Trapwire uses at least “CCTV, license-plate readers, and open-source databases” as input sources, and although it doesn't employ facial-recognition software, the incentives to combine these types of technology is clear.
Beginning in 2014, BI2 will manage a national iris-scan database for the FBI, called Next-Generation Identification (NGI).Lockheed Martin is also involved in building the database.Much of BI2's iris data comes from inmates in 47 states, and despite BI2's claims that iris scanning can't be gamed, that is not the case. Experts showed last summer that the iris can be “reverse-engineered” to fool the scanners, which are generally thought to be more accurate than fingerprinting.
The usual suspects lamented in 2011 that iris scanning isn't used at airports or borders, but security creep is difficult to combat, especially once “national security” is invoked. Just days ago it was reported that the FBI is teaming with the Department of Homeland Security to ramp up iris scanning at US borders. AlterNet has previously reported that the Department of Defense scans the irises of people arriving at and departing from Afghanistan.
The story of BI2 is important because the initial technology is superficially appealing. The company's first projects were called the Child Project, designed to help locate missing children; and Senior Safety Net, developed to identify missing seniors suffering from Alzheimer's. According to B12's Web site, sheriffs' departments in 47 states use the BI2 iris-scanning device and database, which makes it easy to mobilize support to facilitate the safe return of children and seniors.
While the desire to find missing children and seniors is perfectly legitimate, the collection of biometric data is a pandora's box. Once it's opened, it's proven difficult if not impossible to limit.