Data privacy is changing, sometimes for the better, often for the worse. Join GetApp analyst Zach Capers as he gathers the most pertinent data privacy news from around the web.

Facial recognition edition: China’s embrace of facial recognition prompts calls for regulation, Ring had plans to use facial recognition for neighborhood watch lists, and more data privacy news

Data privacy concerns growing as China rapidly adopts facial recognition

In recent years, China has rapidly moved forward with facial recognition technology. The technology is pervasive throughout China and used for everything from entering the subway to obtaining the correct amount of toilet paper in a public restroom. But many fear that the technology is getting too far ahead of regulation as calls are being made for new laws to protect the public’s privacy.[Read more]

Sea-Tac airport to begin using facial recognition for international travelers

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has announced that facial recognition will be implemented for travelers entering or exiting the country by the end of the year. Delta will be the first airline to use the technology at the airport. Like many airports around the world, the program will begin as optional but is expected to eventually become compulsory. While civil rights activists claim the technology is invasive and inaccurate, airlines claim it is faster than manual document checks. [Read more]

Amazon’s Ring doorbell had plans to use facial recognition to identify suspicious activity

Despite previous denials, leaked documents have confirmed that Amazon had planned to incorporate facial recognition into its Ring doorbells to create “neighborhood watch lists.” During the last year, Amazon has partnered with numerous police departments across the U.S. to provide access to Ring video footage. How Amazon’s facial recognition technology could be used to identify suspicious activity remains unclear.[Read more]

Facebook tested facial recognition app on employees

A Business Insider report has revealed that Facebook tested a now-discontinued facial recognition app on employees. BI’s report says that users of the app were able to point a phone’s camera at a person to identify them using the company’s facial recognition technology. The report also claims that the app could be used to instantly pull up a person’s Facebook profile. Facebook has confirmed the app’s existence and but disputes aspects of the report. [Read more]

Popular Indian café accused of using facial recognition without consent

Chaayos, a popular Indian tea café, has been accused of using facial recognition to record customers without providing informed consent. The company claims the technology is intended as a convenience to ease customer transactions as part of its loyalty program. India, like most of the world, lacks facial recognition regulation but is currently in the process of developing a federal privacy law known as the Personal Data Protection Bill. [Read more]

New regulation requires Chinese telecoms to scan users faces

The Chinese government recently enacted new regulations requiring the country’s telecom carriers to scan the faces of all customers registering for new mobile phone services. The guidelines require companies to verify identities using “artificial intelligence and other technical methods” in addition to identity cards or passports. It remains unknown how the new regulation will impact existing customers.[Read more]

Portland moving toward full facial recognition ban

Portland, Oregon will soon decide whether to ban the use of facial recognition by both government and private entities. San Francisco, Oakland, and a few other U.S. cities have already banned the use of facial recognition by government agencies but not by private companies. Proponents of the bill point to the technology’s “high rates of false positives for women and people of color” and concerns about public consent to facial recognition by private companies. The new law is expected to take effect in spring 2020 if approved by Portland’s city council.[Read more]


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