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Microsoft Calls for Federal Regulation of Facial Recognition

     
8:52 pm on Jul 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft President Brad Smith today is publishing a blog post calling for government regulation of facial recognition... including potential restrictions on law-enforcement or national-security uses of the technology; standards to prevent racial profiling; requirements that people be notified when the technology is being used, particularly in public spaces; and legal protections for people who may be misidentified.
source: [wired.com...]

In 2016 Amazon began selling its facial recognition software Rekognition to Law Enforcement attracting privacy concerns from many advocacy groups.
source: [nytimes.com...]

When Facebook rolled out facial recognition tools in the European Union this year, it promoted the technology as a way to help people safeguard their online identities... Six years earlier, it had deactivated the technology in Europe after regulators there raised questions about its facial recognition consent system.
source: [nytimes.com...]

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9:26 pm on July 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Time ( for the laggards ) to get into dazzle make up and clothing and IR LEDs, before they become "illegal to posses"..or "grounds for suspicion"..

"Nothing to Hide , Nothing to camouflage..Nothing to fear"..or so some would have us believe..
9:31 pm on July 15, 2018 (gmt 0)

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"Nothing to Hide , Nothing to camouflage..Nothing to fear"
... and when they came for me, there was nobody left to speak up.

Iíve heard Juggalo makeup is effective. Except then, well, you can see the problem.
2:06 am on July 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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By inviting regulation, which seems rare for a tech giant, Microsoft may hope to clear the ambiguity and forge a clear and distinct path forward for this technology, creating a supported market for it's own products.
6:17 am on July 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Didn't that pony get out of the barn already? One of those too little too late kind of things.
9:59 am on July 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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MS are doing something... weird.

They are pre-emptively launching a defensive action.

China are genuine world leaders in surveillance tech. The current spike in Privacy concerns* notwithstanding, the public seems generally ok with "hidden" data collection - especially if it can be passed off as aggregated data. Facial recognition can provide powerful tracking capabilities- within crowds, for example. The US tech giants are not market leaders in this field, so need to raise non-tariff barriers as a form of protectionism.

Now I'm not saying this isn't in the public interest, but it's not for the public interest.

But good PR. Well done, M$.

*Privacy concerns seem to me to be mostly around a trusted provider sharing data with a bogeyman, as opposed to the collection and distribution of data within an approved set
11:41 am on July 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Facial recognition is already in widespread use in China, where they monitor Uigur Muslims in Tibet. They have deployed the technology at various busy subway stations on a daily basis, and at specific public events such as concerts, with some success.

China is forging ahead with this technology. With such a large population and a government need to control its population, there are no legal and funding issues. They will advance the technology on all fronts, and subsequently start selling it to other totalitarian countries. This seems to have already started in Africa and Vietnam.

I'm unsure what US legislation will do other than slow down US companies. This is a global technology and China has the skills, need and near infinite financial funding (state sponsor). They see no moral issues with using facial recognition on their people.

I disagree with the public use of facial recognition to generally monitor citizens, but this is only a personal view. Other countries and people might be ok with this.
7:15 pm on July 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft might be a bit late to the party on this I think --

Who's going to regulate the government on this? Over half of the states in the U.S. are already using facial recognition per the Real ID Act.
All states have to come into compliance by 2020

And as far as privacy goes? ... What privacy? ... The government already scans your Real ID over a non-encrypted MRZ, so someone will eventually get their ID stolen at some point -- (machine readable zone = mrz) ---
12:07 am on July 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The government already scans your Real ID over a non-encrypted MRZ

My government doesn't..( there is more than one government in the world , for now ) we're are not all in the USA, nor all in China.
2:15 pm on July 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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This is the type of non-critical article that I expect to see in mainstream media: [bbc.co.uk...]

tl;dr- Massive privacy intrusion: Good or Bad?

(Now consider how this would be written up if... an unnamed demagogue... deployed it as at a rally to weed out infiltrating protestors)
2:45 pm on July 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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we're are not all in the USA, nor all in China


... of course you aren't - But countries around the world all have unfettered access to American DMV records just the same -- and with that, there are no uniform standards for international data capture related to Real ID in the U.S. -- Not only do foreign entities have access to the Real ID in the U.S., they also have access to all of the bio-metric data that comes with it.

It's an exciting new world we live in ... One day we might be denied access to a nation for not purchasing one of the products that might have been produced in that nation - Or .. denied because we don't go to the right doctor, purchase the right branded medication or drive the right kind of car.

It's like I said, I think Microsoft might be a bit late to the party on this - Putting on some huff-n-fluff just to try to stay relevant, all the while already knowing that the government is so way ahead of them on data capture that it isn't funny. I'm pretty sure that Microsoft would just love to have as much access to us as the government does.
3:15 pm on July 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'm pretty sure that Microsoft would just love to have as much access to us as the government does.

Probably fair in the USA. But here in the UK, I think the Government would love to have a tiny fraction of the data available to Big Data.

The ease with which we hand over all our data to private companies, versus the reluctance to volunteer anything to Government is very... odd.

Yes LG, we don't all do that either!
6:49 pm on July 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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:) Indeed some of us don't ..
allow me to repost something I posted in another thread..
ps..those of us who either lived in or visited countries that we re behind "the wall" such as East Germany when the STASI were everywhere, find the idea that people would be willing to pay to install eavesdroppers* in their own homes amazing.."shiny trinkets will get you in most anywhere" still works apparently..Erich Honecker would have loved to achieve what Eric Schmidt, Tim Cook and Jeff Bezos and the 3 letter agencies have.


ps..I read recently in an article on the register.co.uk
[theregister.co.uk...]
that the USA border controls( Customs, immigration etc ) still do not have the equipment need to read e-passports , including the e-passports issued by the USA...apparently 12 years after the USA introduced them, and asked for other countries to follow suit.

* By eavesdroppers, I'm referring to the various "boxen" from Amazon, Google, Apple that listen to every word that is spoken near them, so that they can "make your life easier"..