Forget Facial Recognition: DHS’ New Database, HART, Also Uses Scars, Tattoos, and Your VOICE to ID You. And Amazon Is Storing All the Data.

forget-facial-recognition:-dhs’-new-database,-hart,-also-uses-scars,-tattoos,-and-your-voice-to-id-you-and-amazon-is-storing-all-the-data.

06-10-19 05:04:00,

By Daisy Luther

These days, you can’t really go anywhere without encountering cameras.  Going into a store? Chances are there are security cameras. Getting money at an ATM? More cameras. Driving through the streets of a city? More cameras still. Your neighbors may have those doorbells from Amazon that are surveilling the entire neighborhood.

And many of these cameras are tied into facial recognition databases, or the footage can be quite easily compared there if “authorities” are looking for somebody.

But as it turns out, it isn’t just facial recognition we have to worry about.

DHS has a new recognition system called HART.

Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology system is the alarming new identity system being put in place by the Department of Homeland Security.

DHS is retiring its old system that was based on facial recognition. It’s being replaced with HART, a cloud-based system that holds information about the identities of hundreds of millions of people.

The new cloud-based platform, called the Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology System, or HART, is expected to bring more processing power, new analytics capabilities and increased accuracy to the department’s biometrics operations. It will also allow the agency to look beyond the three types of biometric data it uses today—face, iris and fingerprint—to identify people through a variety of other characteristics, like palm prints, scars, tattoos, physical markings and even their voices. (source)

Incidentally, the cloud hosting for HART is being done by none other than Amazon – you know, the ones with surveillance devices like the Ring doorbell and the Alexa home assistant and the Nest home security system. Does anyone see a pattern here?

Also note that Amazon Web Services also hosts data for the CIA, the DoD, and NASA.

More about HART

As HART becomes more established, that old saying “you can run but you can’t hide” is going to seem ever more true. The DHS is delighted at how much further the new system can take them into surveilling Americans.

And by freeing the agency from the limitations of its legacy system,

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Facial recognition will soon be everywhere. Are we prepared? – PaulCraigRoberts.org

facial-recognition-will-soon-be-everywhere-are-we-prepared?-–-paulcraigroberts.org

05-09-19 08:00:00,

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Facial recognition will soon be everywhere. Are we prepared?

Dylan CurranTue 21 May 2019 08.10 ED

Some companies are already testing this new technology, but it raises questions about how surveillance can be abused

San Francisco became the first major city to ban the use of facial recognition technology by police and government agencies on 14 May. 

Imagine this: you walk into work and the camera above the doors scans your face, opening them seamlessly without you lifting a finger. You sit down at your computer and it instantly unlocks. Oh, but you need to run to the pharmacist at lunch. You walk up to a camera, and your prescription is deposited in front of you. You go home from work, a camera blinks, and your door unlocks as your hand touches the handle. You look at your face in the mirror, and it tells you to moisturize. It’s going to be a hot day tomorrow, so it recommends you wear sun-cream. It’ll even order it for you (next-day delivery from Amazon of course). Sounds pretty good right?

Now imagine this: you walk down the street and a pair of policemen stare at you. Their body cameras flash red and they instantly pull their guns and tell you to drop to the ground, you’re under arrest. You comply and after several days in jail, they let you know you were misidentified as a violent criminal on the loose due to the 1.3% margin of error. Regardless of your innocence, you’re in the system. Now wherever you go, cameras that capture you will automatically increase the “danger score” of the area and alert police to watch out for you. Even worse, as you enter stores, the facial recognition system lets the staff know a recently arrested individual has entered the building. They stare suspiciously at you now. Doesn’t sound so good? Facial recognition already has these problems with people of color.

As fantastical as either of those scenarios might seem, it’s quite possible that this will be the future we’re headed towards. Companies have a neverending appetite to use powerful new software to make their customer’s life easier and governments persistently feel the need to misuse emerging technologies for the greater good.

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BigBrotherWatch: Facial Recognition “Epidemic” In The UK

bigbrotherwatch:-facial-recognition-“epidemic”-in-the-uk

25-08-19 11:04:00,

Via TruePublica.org.uk,

At TruePublica we have written endlessly about the continued slow strangulation of civil liberties and human rights in Britain. We have warned about the rise of a techno-Stasi-state where technology is harnessed and used against civilians without any debate or indeed any real legal framework.  We have alerted the public on the illegal mass data collections by the government and subsequent loss of much it by MI5 who should not have had it all in the first place. We warned against ‘digital strip searches‘ – an activity of the police of the victims in rape cases, and the fact that Britain is becoming a database state. At TruePublica we have tried to press home the story that surveillance by the state on such a scale, described as the most intrusive in the Western world – is not just illegal, it’s immoral and dangerous. (see our surveillance database HERE).

Here is more evidence of just how dangerous and out of hand this creeping surveillance architecture is becoming. An investigation by Big Brother Watch has uncovered a facial recognition ‘epidemic’ across privately owned sites in the UK. The civil liberties campaign group has found major property developers, shopping centres, museums, conference centres and casinos using the technology in the UK.

Millions of shoppers scanned

Their investigation uncovered the use of live facial recognition in Sheffield’s Meadowhall, one of the biggest shopping centres in the North of England, in secret police trials that took place last year. The trial could have scanned the faces of over 2 million visitors.

The shopping centre is owned by British Land, which owns large areas within London including parts of Paddington, Broadgate, Canada Water and Ealing Broadway. Each site’s privacy policy says facial recognition may be in use, although British Land insists only Meadowhall has used the surveillance so far.

Last week, the Financial Times revealed that the privately owned Kings Cross estate in London was using facial recognition, whilst Canary Wharf is considering following suit. The expose prompted widespread concerns and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to write to the estate to express his concerns. 

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Facial Recognition: 10 Reasons You Should Be Worried About The Technology

facial-recognition:-10-reasons-you-should-be-worried-about-the-technology

21-08-19 02:20:00,

By Birgit Schippers, Queen’s University Belfast

Facial recognition technology is spreading fast. Already widespread in China, software that identifies people by comparing images of their faces against a database of records is now being adopted across much of the rest of the world. It’s common among police forces but has also been used at airports, railway stations and shopping centres.

The rapid growth of this technology has triggered a much-needed debate. Activists, politicians, academics and even police forces are expressing serious concerns over the impact facial recognition could have on a political culture based on rights and democracy.

Human rights concerns

As someone who researches the future of human rights, I share these concerns. Here are ten reasons why we should worry about the use of facial recognition technology in public spaces.

1) It puts us on a path towards automated blanket surveillance

CCTV is already widespread around the world, but for governments to use footage against you they have to find specific clips of you doing something they can claim as evidence. Facial recognition technology brings monitoring to new levels. It enables the automated and indiscriminate live surveillance of people as they go about their daily business, giving authorities the chance to track your every move.

2) It operates without a clear legal or regulatory framework

Most countries have no specific legislation that regulates the use of facial recognition technology, although some lawmakers are trying to change this. This legal limbo opens the door to abuse, such as obtaining our images without our knowledge or consent and using them in ways we would not approve of.

3) It violates the principles of necessity and proportionality

A commonly stated human rights principle, recognised by organisations from the UN to the London Policing Ethics Panel, is that surveillance should be necessary and proportionate. This means surveillance should be restricted to the pursuit of serious crime instead of enabling the unjustified interference into our liberty and fundamental rights.

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Military Will Use Facial Recognition Goggles to Help Soldiers Identify People Through Weapons Systems

military-will-use-facial-recognition-goggles-to-help-soldiers-identify-people-through-weapons-systems

26-07-19 05:49:00,

By Nicholas West

Public resistance in the United States has finally begun to mount against the use of facial recognition systems due to privacy issues as well as documented inaccuracies. Even police departments have begun to dump the use of biometrics, particularly in the area of pre-crime algorithms that also have demonstrated the failures of artificial intelligence to be accurate enough for use in law enforcement.

Also Read: Amazon Facial Rekognition Software Trial In Orlando Canceled After 15 Months

Nevertheless, the military is firmly embracing both uses as the Army aims to roll out facial recognition goggles that would enable soldiers to “see through the eyes” of any weapons system and highlight people for further investigation … and presumably to be targeted for elimination.

Defense One reports:

“Very soon” U.S. soldiers could be able to identify enemies, suspects, or any persons of interest they’re seeking just by looking through the goggles on their head.

U.S. Army officials are testing a new headset that will—potentially—allow soldiers looking through them to recognize the faces of individuals in a crowd, and much more, including translate foreign language street signs into English, see through the eyes of nearby flying bug drones, and train anywhere in a semi-virtual environment, all through the same lens.

[…]

“We’re going to demonstrate very, very soon, the ability, on body — if there are persons of interest that you want to look for and you’re walking around, it will identify those very quickly,” said Col. Chris Schneider, project manager for IVAS, at a U.S. Army Futures Command demonstration in Virginia.

This plan would seem to take the military one step closer toward their long-held vision to build a full-scale matrix of (smart) war that has been labeled the Internet of Battlefield Things (IoBT).

This latest development appears to be an extension of a project called MUSIC that I covered back in 2011. It was part of Future Combat Systems to integrate unmanned and manned aircraft across all branches of military, and would include a variety of autonomous systems,

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The Rise of Facial Recognition Should Scare Us All

the-rise-of-facial-recognition-should-scare-us-all

16-06-19 04:44:00,

By Derrick Broze

In the last ten years, our world has been completely transformed thanks to the exponential growth of digital technology. Technological advances with computer processors and the Internet have quickly advanced our world into one that resembles some of the most well-known sci-fi films and novels. Not a single day passes without a report on an emerging technology or new feature in an already existing product. The last ten years alone have seen rapid growth in information technology, encryption, the medical industry and 3D printing technology, just to name a few.

Unfortunately, as technology is a tool, there are equally frightening developments taking place in the first two decades of the 21st century. Specifically, the ability for governments and private actors to monitor and spy on the activity of the average person has nearly become accepted as the norm. In fact, it has become commonplace to hear Americans respond to warnings of Orwellian futures with the timeless trope, “If you’re not doing anything wrong, there’s nothing to hide!” This is what makes it all the more surprising to see a surplus of recent reports examining the dangers and implications of a world where facial recognition technology is commonplace.

Here’s a small sample of the current headlines related to facial recognition:

Even the Washington Post published a warning titled “Don’t smile for surveillance: Why airport face scans are a privacy trap.”

Questions surrounding the emerging technology have reached enough of a tipping point that just this week, House Democrats questioned the Department of Homeland Security over the use of facial recognition tech on U.S. citizens. The Hill reported that more than 20 House Democrats sent a letter on Friday to the DHS over the Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) use of facial recognition technology at U.S.

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Facial Recognition For ALL International Inbound and Outbound Passengers | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

Facial Recognition For ALL International Inbound and Outbound Passengers | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

02-05-18 12:00:00,

It’s a trend that is quickly becoming accepted reality – biometric identification at U.S. airports.  However, until now, it has been marketed either as an elective measure for preferred travelers who wish to expedite clearance or for inbound international travelers.

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As I previously reported, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has a mandate that’s been 15 years in the making to integrate government databases for ID verification. Private companies have been enlisted to ensure that there is a “quick and easy roll out across U.S. airports,” according to Jim Peters, chief technology officer for SITA, one of the information technology companies working with airlines.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, British Airways has become the first in the nation to employ the new routine at Orlando International Airport, but all of the airport’s 25 international carriers are expected to adopt biometric processing in the near future:

The passengers had shown no boarding pass, passport or any other identification.

Instead, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection computer was comparing each traveler’s passport photo on file – or a visa photo of those not from the U.S. – with their newly captured portrait.

[…]

John Newsome, the airport’s chief information officer, said all of the airport’s 25 carriers with foreign flights and the two border checkpoints will be equipped for biometric screening through this summer.

The decision means spending $4 million on gates and high-definition cameras for departing and arriving international flights.

The technology is being touted as being “quick as a Google search for most passengers.”

As we know, however, privacy and data breaches have become as common as the days of the week, so I personally don’t feel reassured by the reference to Google when my biometric data is being harvested.

If you are a U.S. citizen, the plan is to dispose of the photos collected within 14 days and, according to CBP’s deputy director, “At some point in the future, that time frame is going to shrink, and photos of U.S. citizens probably won’t be kept at all,” Dan Tanciar stated.

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