A historic settlement filed in court on Monday highlighted the power of Illinois’ strong privacy law and will result in new nationwide restrictions on a controversial technology company infamous for selling access to the largest known database of facial images.
The deal permanently banning Clearview AI from providing most private entities with free or paid access to its database stems from a lawsuit that the ACLU and partners filed in 2020, arguing that the company violated Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).
In addition to permanently banning Clearview from granting private companies and individuals access to the database, the settlement has some state-specific limits. For the next five years, Clearview can’t allow private companies with exceptions under BIPA or state or local government entities in Illinois, including law enforcement, access to the database.
One key exception is that, Clearview will still be able to provide its database to U.S. banks and financial institutions under a carve-out in the Illinois law.
Hoan Ton-That, chief executive of Clearview AI, said the company did “not have plans” to provide the database “to entities besides government agencies at this time.” The settlement does not mean that Clearview cannot sell any product to corporations. It will still be able to sell its facial recognition algorithm, without the database of 20 billion images, to companies.
Nathan Freed Wessler, a deputy director of the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, said that
“By requiring Clearview to comply with Illinois’ pathbreaking biometric privacy law not just in the state, but across the country, this settlement demonstrates that strong privacy laws can provide real protections against abuse.”
“Clearview can no longer treat people’s unique biometric identifiers as an unrestricted source of profit,” he said. “Other companies would be wise to take note, and other states should follow Illinois’ lead in enacting strong biometric privacy laws.”
Surveillance Technology Oversight Project executive director Albert Fox Cahn stated “this is a milestone for civil rights, and the ACLU deserves our thanks for once again safeguarding our Constitution.”
“Banning Clearview AI in one state is not enough; we need a national ban,” Fox Cahn asserted. “Illinois has long been ahead of the curve in protecting residents from biometric surveillance, but it’s time for the rest of the country to catch up.”
Who owns your face? You might think that you do, but consider that Clearview AI, an American company that sells facial recognition technology, has amassed a database of ten billion images since 2020.
By the end of the year, it plans to have scraped 100 billion facial images from the internet. It is difficult to assess the company’s claims, but if we take Clearview AI at face value, it has enough data to identify almost everyone on earth and end privacy and anonymity everywhere.
As you read these words, your face is making money for people whom you’ve never met and who never sought your consent when they took your faceprint from your social media profiles and online photo albums.Today, Clearview AI’s technology is used by over 3,100 U.S. law enforcement agencies, as well as the U.S. Postal Service.In Ukraine, it is being used as a weapon of war. The company has offered its tools free of charge to the Ukrainian government, which is using them to identify dead and living Russian soldiers and then contact their mothers.
It would be easy to shrug this off. After all, we voluntarily surrendered our privacy the moment we began sharing photos online, and millions of us continue to use websites and apps that fail to protect our data, despite warnings from privacy campaigners and Western security services. It is tempting to overlook the fact that Ukraine is not using Clearview AI to identify dead Ukrainians, which suggests that we are witnessing the use of facial recognition technology for psychological warfare, not identification. Some people will be fine with the implications of this: if Russian mothers have to receive disturbing photos of their dead sons, so be it.
To understand why we might want to rethink the use of facial recognition technology in conflict, consider the following thought experiment: Imagine a conflict in which the United States was fighting against an opponent who had taken American faceprints to train its facial recognition technology and was using it to identify dead American soldiers and contact their mothers. This would almost certainly cause howls of protest across the United States. Technology executives would be vilified in the press and hauled before Congress, where lawmakers might finally pass a law to protect Americans’ biometric data.
We do not need to wait for these scenarios to occur; Congress could act now to protect Americans’ biometric data. If taking inspiration from the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) seems a step too far, Congress only needs to look to Illinois, whose Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) requires that companies obtain people’s opt-in consent before capturing facial images and other biometrics.
Clearview AI is currently fighting multiple lawsuits in federal and state courts in Illinois for failing to obtain users’ consent. These lawsuits highlight a troubling aspect of facial recognition technology in the United States: Americans’ privacy, civil liberties, and rights over their biometric data vary from state to state, and even within states, and are not protected by federal law
For all of Clearview AI’s many flaws, the challenge free-societies face is about more than the actions of one company. Many companies and governments are using similar means to create the same tools, such as PimEyes, FindClone, and TrueFace.Liberal democracies can regulate them, but currently, there is nothing preventing adversaries from capturing our faces and other biometric data. Failing to act could endanger soldiers, security personnel, and law enforcement officers, as well as civilian populations. It is time to confront this challenge head-on.
For the past 15 years, police forces searching for criminals in Europe have been able to share fingerprints, DNA data, and details of vehicle owners with each other. Now European lawmakers are set to include millions of photos of people’s faces in this system—and allow facial recognition to be used on an unprecedented scale.
The expansion of facial recognition across Europe is included in wider plans to “modernize” policing across the continent, and it comes under the Prüm II data-sharing proposals. The original Prüm Convention was signed in 2005 by Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Spain, outside of the EU’s framework – but “open” to the bloc’s other member countries, 14 out of 27 of which have since joined.
The treaty is meant to increase cross-border cooperation in tackling crime and terrorism. What this has meant so far is that the parties to the treaty have been collecting, processing, and sharing data like fingerprints, DNA, information about owners of vehicles, and the like.
“What you are creating is the most extensive biometric surveillance infrastructure that I think we will ever have seen in the world,” says Ella Jakubowska, a policy adviser at the civil rights NGO European Digital Rights (EDRi).
Prüm II plans to significantly expand the amount of information that can be shared, potentially including photos and information from driving licenses. The proposals from the European Commission also say police will have greater “automated” access to information that’s shared. The massive database would then be available to police in various countries across Europe to match against photos of suspects using facial recognition algorithms, in an automated process.
The European proposals allow a nation to compare a photo against the databases of other countries and find out if there are matches—essentially creating one of the largest facial recognition systems in existence
The European data protection superviser (EDPS), who oversees how EU bodies use data under GDPR, has criticized the planned expansion of Prüm, which could take several years. “Automated searching of facial images is not limited only to serious crimes but could be carried out for the prevention, detection, and investigation of any criminal offenses, even a petty one,”
EU spokespeople claim that “a human will review potential matches,” said the report.
As 2021 draws to a close,the forward march of global Surveillance states continues on Unabated. In 2019 it was projected that by the end of 2021,there would be over 1 Billion cctv surveillance camera’s operable worldwide. The 2019 estimate is based upon a (then) current number of 770 million cctv camera’s worldwide. The global surveillance industry itself has been estimated at 42 billion dollars, with an exponential increase to 86 billion by 2027.
Developing countries, including India, Brazil and Indonesia, will overtake markets such as the U.K and Japan as the world’s largest markets for security camera. Currently an estimated 54% of those cameras are in China.
China leads the way in surveillance oriented nations,of the current numbers of cctv cameras distributed around the globe 54% of those are used in China, in order to keep watch over it’s citizens. The Chinese government has taken full advantage of the growing surveillance industry,by employing not only cctv surveillance, but also with the employment of Drones, Data collection ,Facial recognition software and Advanced AI surveillance algorithms. (Which yes…incredibly they have named Skynet)
Commercially, China also is home to the world’s largest surveillance camera manufacturer’s,Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. Ltd. & Dahua Technology Co account for 38% of total installations globally. Chinese Tech giant Huawei has it’s hand’s in the Surveillance pot as well,highlighting the growing global trend of cooperation between (outright & not so outright) Authoritarian governments and Corporations (I.E. Corporatism).
The U.S. comes in behind China at a close second with an accounted 18 % of all installed surveillance camera’s worldwide. Projections have put the number of Surveillance camera’s in the U.S. at 70 million,with an increase to 85 million by the end of 2021. For a per capita breakdown it’s estimated that there was one installed camera for every 4.6 people in the U.S. ,while there is one installed CCTV camera per 4.1 people in China. While the United States Surveillance framework is not as (outrightly)ubiquitous as China’s, The US has one of the longest running Mass surveillance networks in the world.
Additionally a recent Stanford University study has shown the growing prevalence of surveillance devices used worldwide in large cities. Globally surveillance via not only CCTV cameras,is growing. But Surveillance is also performed on the smaller commercial scale with products such as Doorbell camera’s, (Google Nest & Amazon Ring) Video Web cameras, Smartphones & Smart Assistant’s.
As if the current situation weren’t chilling enough, the next generations of Surveillance are already in development and deployment. While there once was a fear of Big Brother and a metaphorical eye in the sky type surveillance in the past, We are currently being faced with surveillance on the micro and nano scale as well,via Smart sensors,Nanotech Smart Dust, and the Growing development of 5G Smart Cities.
While theses Surveillance systems are designed to improve our Security and to enhance our lives in certain way’s. The greater danger behind the Global surveillance network(s) lies in the loss of our privacy,anonymity, and freedom of movement. Which seems to be shrinking day by day and eroded away by the actions of global governments , corporations ,and Think tanks who act (mostly only in name) on behalf of providing us with “Safety “and “Security”. Ultimately the reduction and regulation of such systems lies in our own hands and minds. We must be as vigilant as the Surveillance framework itself in protecting our selve’s and our Freedoms.
“May you live in interesting times”...is a cultural colloqualism that can be taken as either a blessing or a curse. Given our current trajectory down the path of total Biosecurity slavery,Ill take it as the latter. And we sure do live in “interesting times”. The Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing 2 years of constant fear mongering over a novel virus that has yet to leave bodies piled up in the streets,have been the center point for a continued assault upon the public’s privacy and “freedom” of travel(We can thank the Global War OF Terror for the kickoff to this party). While Biometrics have been gradually being integrated into the global travel infrastructure, There is now a parallel (Biosecurity) infrastructure being built to fight yet another invisible enemy. Sure being that we live in an age of advanced technology,these types of changes were bound to happen in the way we travel and live our lives.However on the flip side there are forces that seek to leverage these advancements for further control and coralling of the population,to place us on a fast track to a Dystopian vision of how were allowed to move,travel and live our lives,all in the name of staying “Healthy”,”Safe” and “Secure”. As though we needed a constant daddying supervision of our unruly and dangerous “Freedom”.
While the global pandemic hit the airline industries pockets pretty hard in 2020,With a 387 billion dollar net loss (or so they say). That didn’t stop the forward progress Frog march of the global surveillance industry which took full advantage of the New Bio-security state paradigm in the Wake of Covid-19.
How will Facial recognition work in the age of required masking you may ask? No worries they’ve already got that figured out(of course)with credit due to the decade long War on Terror. Israeli based company Corsight is working with multiple law enforcement & intelligence agencies and has established business with several airports in deploying an AI facial recognition system that can “see through masks”
As per Corsights CEO: “Corsight’s autonomous AI is essentially military-grade software and represents a vast evolution over the type of facial recognition tech we’re used to using. “We can identify someone with 90-degree head turn. We can identify someone with a camera at 70-degree rake, we can identify someone with a face mask—not just with a face mask, but with a ski mask…with hat, glasses, all of that, And, astonishingly,“We can identify someone who is now age 50 from a photograph of them at age 17.”
Makes you feel all cold and creepy inside huh?
“Touchless” technology is one of the burgeoning Tech/surveillance advancments in the post pandemic era,of course being marketed as “safe” and “efficient” ways of tech/social interaction to limit your exposure to cooties and to keep you from having to actually interface with another human being(Do i sense a sort of de-humanization in these technologies?).
Of course in the case of Air travel this technology doesn’t prevent you from being packed like sardines into a flying aluminum tube with other dirty humans and their offspring….But im sure they’ll be finding a Transhumanist solution to that at some point.
With the airline industry on a slow rebound in this post covid era, not much has changed in the way of the usual flight delay’s and endless hours of waiting around to catch your flight. Well of course that issue is addressed by Tascent technologies and their announcement of creating Touchless passenger lounges,also equipped with…you guessed it Facial recognition technology. Welcome to the Air travel version of the Panopticon..it’s all for your “convenience” and (Health?) “Safety” of course. No specifics on how they plan to implement such a strategy,but no doubt it will have some kind of preference to Vaxxed individuals,vs exclusion of the unvaxxed. A little bit more on that later…
But don’t you worry US travelers, this type of intrusion isnt just relegated to overseas airports..No we live in the age of GLOBAL Mass surveillance. Not only will you have the pleasure of being tracked and traced by AI algorithm’s but Airport police will be equipped with specially designed Facial recognition/Thermal sensing cameras. Yup… be prepared to be stared down by officer Robocop on your next Disney vacation.
As per the reporting of MasspriveteI: KeyBiz’s smart helmets also come equipped with license plate readers, essentially turning cops into mobile surveillance platforms.According to an NBC 25 News article the Feds are sneaking facial recognition smart helmets into airports looking for blacklisted or “wanted criminals.”
Although the article does not specifically mention blacklisted people, it does mention that airport police use smart helmets to compare peoples faces to “databases of alleged criminals.” History has shown that airport police (DHS/TSA) have access to numerous databases of blacklisted people and a secret list of unruly passengers.
The creeping Tyranny we were warned about in the War of Terror campaign,is no longer creeping,it’s coming at you in full force,on all four fours….
Of course it seems recently that compliance has become the norm for the worlds populace who have been terrorized into a Stockholm syndrome level of Psychological conditioning. A recent IATA report noted that a majority of passengers were willing to go along with this Digital dictatorship,in order to avoid waiting on long lines….
“According to Nick Careen, IATA’s Vice President for Operation, Safety and Security, passengers want technology to work harder, so they don’t have to spend long waiting hours in queues or waiting to get their documents checked. The Global Passenger Survey for 2021 (GPS) which counted 13,579 respondents from 186 countries, reveals that 73 per cent of passengers claimed to be willing to provide their biometric data to improve the travel and airport check processes, showing an increase of 27 per cent compared to 2019.
Vaxx passports & Digital ID a warning fallen on deaf ears, Now a reality
As I wrote about in Early 2021..Vaccine passports were already under developments and ready to be released to the world’s public. Of course the majority of normie’s who would have heard such a proposition called it impossible and crazy. Not more than 6 months later,were looking at a GLOBAL Vaccine passport scheme. Now while not entirely monolithic and united in systems there are now multiple nations that are requiring their citizens to show proof of vaccination in order to travel,Work,and to even pay for groceries.
Of course it’s unprecedented that a majority of the worlds population’s movements would be restricted to something as seemingly arbitrary (in 2019 standards,I’d guess) as vaccination status,but yet…here we are.While the purpose here is not to argue the validity of the so called “global Pandemic”it’s pretty obvious that these programs of Mass surveillance,Tracking,and Biometric monitoring wouldn’t be at this stage of advancement without a GLOBAL Emergency excuse (A Biological/Psychological 9-11 if you will).
The newest iterations in the Vaxx passport scheme range from IATA’s Global travel pass initiative,”green passes” in the EU,Israel,China,and hold on get ready for this one…..”Super” green passes in Italy. While the US doesn’t have an outright Vaccine passport program, there is the CLEAR health pass app, which “links Covid-19 health information to biometric identifiers such as your face, eyes and fingerprints”. But hey…It’s not a Vaxx passport, it’s a “health convenience” Right guys????
Almost all aspects of what was once considered “normal” daily life in these countries,Freedom of travel,Freedom of assembly,down to even whether or not you’ll be allowed to feed yourself have been subjugated and surrendered to Govt mandates,which require “Full vaccination” and proof of such via your Digital health Id or Vaccine passport. So…Who are the crazy ones now?????
Vaxx Passports/Digital ID: two sides of the same Globalist coin
The push to global digital Identification has been in place even before the pandemic. In 2016 the United Nations held the opening of the ID2020 summit which discussed plans and how to implement ways to provide digital ID to everyone on the planet. While couched in the terms of “sustainable development” and “equity” The UN planned called for means to “provide all invisible and vulnerable people with legal identity by 2030, to make them visible and restore them into society”.Once again we see the globalist trend of manipulating lofty language and tugging on the heart strings to advance their control agenda’s. In 2018 the Known Traveler Digitial Identity (KTDI) initiative was launched by the World Economic Forum,That bastion of Globalist innovation that has given us “The Great Reset”. In collaboration with the governments of Canada (Which now has one of the strictest vaxx passport/ID scheme imprisoning it’s own citizens) and The Netherlands, The KTDI initiative piloted paperless digital travel documents for traveler’s between both countries.
And of course not more than a few weeks into the opening of the Pandemic itself we had the consummate globalist lap dog himself, Bill Gates “specultaing” that at some very near future point “Eventually we will have some digital certificates to show who has recovered or been tested recently or when we have a vaccine who has received it.” Really ahead of the curves there,huh Bill? Gates isn’t alone in this push for digital immunity ID,of course other like minded Technocrat’s/Government talking heads and Corporate “business leaders” have been insistent in this push for global digital ID.
What are they gonna do next,Microchip us? You’re crazy if you think that……..
Of course one of the Ad-hominem attacks against those of us critical of this agenda,is that we’re crazy for thinking that anyone would want to track and control us. Our governments and Public-Private partnerships(Corporate Fascism) are only doing this for our own best interests. Tracking via Microchips is one of the tropes that is pushed by popular opinion and the media,no doubt spurned on by earlier conspiracy theorists and their speculations about tracking via Microchips.
It’s kind of simplistic to criticize the idea of Tracking chips and Technologies when people are willingly allowing themselves to be tracked and traced by such means.
But then again, we’re in the 21st century,So Microchips,RFID and Bar codes are a thing of the past. In the new Biosecurity paradigm,tracking/tracing and constant surveillence is being accomplish on the nano and atomic levels.As we move further along our path of almost cyberpunk/Corporate overlord dystopia,we have begun the process of categorizing/inventorying ourselves as well as almost every other life form animate or inanimate,Via The Internet of Things(IOT),& the Internet of Bodies(IOB).
And so the further you dig into these topics,the clearer it becomes that we are inching (Incrementalism) towards a Total panopticon style society.The more that the public complies with such steps towards Total tyranny in the empty name of “Health and Safety” (Biosecurity) the worse it will become, All via a process of acclimation and gradualism. But then again that’s been the globalist strategy for nearly a hundred years now. It’s up to us to act on this knowledge that (For now) is freely available to us. Much like the concept of a virus, these forces thrive in darkness and invisibilty,but that which can be destroyed by exposure to the light of Truth,Should be destroyed by Truth. All it takes is the commitment to act upon these realizations, rather than passing the buck to the next guy,or the next generation. the only ones coming to save us…are ourselves.
As I’ve documented here before Biometrics and other assorted forms of global mass surveillance technologies have become a part of our world that we can no longer escape. The seeming inevitability of a Technological- Technocratic Panoptican is a reality we must face going forward into the future.While the Paradigm of Public safety/Security from Terrorism that enshrined the foundations of this system have faded from the Corporate media’s spotlight,with 2020 and the “global pandemic” of Covid-19 we’ve entered into a new paradigm, that of Bio-security and Medical martial law.
And so I rounded up these series of Articles closing out 2020 with the theme of Biometrics and Facial recognition and their continual incremental encroaching upon citizens privacy and civil liberties.
2020 was the year of the Mask. While the effectiveness of such a measure against the Novel coronavirus is somewhat contested and vigorously opposed by some,Face masks became the defining feature and social divisor of 2020. Since the majority of the population was forced to wear masks, that presented a bit of a problem with existing facial recognition technology. While most liberty minded people,and those opposed to Orwellian intrusion saw this a good thing, The US govt obviously did not….But fear not citizens because D.H.S. is working around that problem to protect you (?) from ” security threats” No Terrorist in a face diaper is going to foil D.H.S. No Sir!!!!!
The Homeland Security Department, one of the government’s biggest biometrics systems users, is now steering research to confront the complexities limiting existing technology and help push forward tools to safely verify people’s identities at security checkpoints in a pandemic. Initial results from one recent effort “are actually quite promising,” Using not Photoshop but a tool like it, NIST created digital masks over faces in DHS operational images. Officials subsequently compared how facial recognition algorithms performed on those photos, as well as images of the same people without synthetic masks edited on to cover their faces.
Conducted at the Maryland Test Facility, the latest rally put those face and/or iris acquisition systems to work, as well as 13 matching algorithms—with support from 582 human volunteers. With the heaps of photos collected, DHS is able to essentially standardize image output and get a strong grip on what all the cameras are capturing. The systems are able to hone in on unique human features such as head shape, and faces’ periocular region—or the areas around individuals’ eyes—that remain uncovered when masks are worn.
DHS selected six systems to test this go-around, which is fewer than usual for such events but made sense to abide by COVID-19 protocols
Phew…what a relief to know that while forging tech to invade on the public’s privacy,no volunteers were exposed to COVID. My virtue signal receptors are pleased to hear that…..
Drones to police the Drones
Within the past 2 years we have seen an exponential rise in the commercial/privatized use of Drones. While the military has popularized their use as flying messengers of death, the use of drones in the private sector has found a new utility- Surveillance of the populace. You can call it Drones watching Drones. In real life scenarios that seem to mirror some of the most dystopian sci fi visions of films like They live,or Captive state, have now come to pass. Drones are now being used to fight the new “invisible enemy” COVID-19. Drone company Draganfly made more than a few headlines,by getting itself involved with projects related to surveillance and tracking of suspected Covid infections. Draganfly partnered with the Australian DOD and got in on the action with the near draconian lockdowns in Australia. And it doesn’t just stop there:
The goal, say organizers, is not to identify sick individuals. Instead, it will collect real-time statistical data about the possible spread of the disease. Drones are just part of this system, which will leverage other cameras around the world, such as CCTV cameras. They will all feed images and video into software developed by healthcare and AI company Vital Intelligence, Inc. – Dronedj.com
So it’s a small Globally surveilled world after all….
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, or IARPA, issued a broad agency announcement solicitation for its latest attempt to improve biometrics at range, the Biometric Recognition and Identification at Altitude and Range, or BRIAR, program. (Boy they sure do love Acronym’s)
The BRIAR program aims to develop software algorithm-based systems capable of performing whole-body biometric identification at long-range and from elevated platforms,” the call states, outlining a three-phase process to prototype and test novel ways to incorporate multiple biometric signatures—such as face, gait and body type—to improve identification and verification at long ranges and steep angles.The BRIAR program will combine multiple biometric factors, including face, stride and “anthropometric classifications” like height and gender to improve match rates.
And just to appeal to the PC virtue signaling crowd : “The program also hopes to attune for racial diversity by using “robust, demographically diverse, domain-relevant biometric data,” . Whatever that innocuous statement means…. The fact is that this surveillance tech is not only detrimental to all citizens privacy,but that it has also been utilized disproportionately against minorities .
Public Consciousness is key in opposing Mass surveillance
While the Surveillance state continues to grow by leaps and bounds, there have been a few roadblocks offered up by the public in response to these intrusions into the public’s privacy. The aforementioned Dragnfly Pandemic temperature scanning drone program that was to be rolled out in Westport CT saw enough citizen response that the police dept was forced to axe the entire “Flatten the curve” pilot program.
Various Public advocacy groups voiced their concerns over,and called for a halt to a proposed Customs and Border protection plan involving Biometric data collection. The U.S. Customs and border protection (USCBP) had proposed an expansion of it’s own biometric data collection capabilities in September of 2020, the proposal sought to add the collection of palm prints, photographs for facial recognition, voice prints, iris images and DNA for tests to determine genetic relationships to its pre-existing biometric practices, which include collecting fingerprints and signatures of immigrants. Where that will ultimately go remains to be seen.
In New York State Facial recognition being used in schools was banned,being the first state to officially stop(for now) the deployment of these technologies in a public education setting. The law didn’t create a permanent ban,but rather a temporary stop on it’s use until 2022.
In June, the ACLU of New York sued the state education department over the installation of a facial recognition system in Lockport City Schools, a district near Niagara Falls. The state’s approval of this technology showed a “dangerous lack of oversight and an alarming misunderstanding of the way it analyzes student data,” the civil liberties group said. The implementation of the system violated students’ rights to privacy, the lawsuit argued, because the district wanted to sync their data to local, state, and federal crime databases.
School officials defended the system, saying it would help identify school shooters as they enter the building, allowing shootings to be prevented.
And so there you go with the old tried and true appeal to “public safety”, or the even sappier “keeping your kids safe from drugs and violence”, while indoctrinating them to accept a system of Mass surveillance and no personal privacy. As these technologies continue to develop,and are increasingly marketed to the public sector it’s up to us The public to stay informed of how,and when these technologies are being used against us. While the global surveillance industry will continually take advantage of the public’s vulnerabilities to “security risks” it’s important to remember that it won’t just stop there,The Covid pandemic and it’s response highlight that we are moving into a post security and Terrorism oriented (indoctrinated?) world,and that now even Bodily autonomy is at risk of being seized all in the name of “Protection”
* The U.K. and especially London have been the testing grounds for a complete Surveillance/Spying, Big Brother type of State. And since it’s been a succes there, it’s not long until it is implemented here in the U.S. *
Facial recognition and biometric databases have been a reality in technology for decades, and have been used overseas by the military to assist in occupying potentially hostile populations in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.Populations there not only face the possibility of becoming a statistical civilian casualty, but are processed and tagged like cattle as well.
Now, that paradigm is coming home to roost – as spy agencies like the NSA have long planned.
Biometrics are being designed for use in mass populations here in America and throughout the Western world, not just war-torn locales. According to the NY Times: Facial recognition software, which American military and intelligence agencies used for years in Iraq and Afghanistan to identify potential terrorists, is being eagerly adopted by dozens of police departments around the country to pursue drug dealers, prostitutes and other conventional criminal suspects. But because it is being used with few guidelines and with little oversight or public disclosure, it is raising questions of privacy and concerns about potential misuse.
Already, the database is saddled by millions of people who are not criminals and have not been charged with any crime – which experts claim is reducing its effectiveness. There is about a 20% rate of false-positives which is hardly encouraging, “It is not as if there is the identification of a specific crime problem; they are simply collecting a lot of information that could impact a lot of completely innocent people,” said Michael German, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice and a former F.B.I. agent.
The New York Times interviewed two people upset about police detaining them on street curbs to take a photo for the biometric database, while also taking such data as cheek-swabbed DNAThey weren’t arrested, but now they are being watched more closely than people realize, as increasing numbers of cameras and computer systems are beginning to utilize law enforcement biometric databases, potentially recognizing and flagging innocent people everywhere they go, and subjecting them to possible undue suspicion.
The future already holds a bleak outlook for privacy, largely promising only greater and greater levels of surveillance and control that would not only make the founding fathers roll in their graves, but would give the average person the sense that they are under watch with preemptive suspicion … even thought they’ve done nothing wrong.
Since the FBI is cutting the ribbon on its own biometric tech center, these policies are all but guaranteed to spread to departments throughout the country.
Facial recognition technology has improved by leaps and bounds in terms of speed and accuracy over recent years. The government has poured a great deal of money into deploying facial recognition technology around the country as well.
Government databases have expanded rapidly and local police have begun to use facial recognition technology to arrest suspects.Currently, many facial recognition systems are limited in their ability to identify in the variety of conditions outlined in the statement. In addition, many systems are not at all portable. Apparently, DHS seeks to make both of these limitations a thing of the past.
Most interesting of all, the DHS statement of work reveals that the technology will be utilizing 3-Dimensional facial recognition, something which is far more accurate and requires only a small part of the suspect’s face to be captured.
The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) development of a Biometric Optical Surveillance System (BOSS) has raised concerns among civil rights advocates that the technology is being developed without the necessary safeguards to protect the privacy of citizens.
BOSS is a surveillance system that uses computers and video cameras to scan faces anywhere with the purpose of identifying people through their facial features. The system, officially developed by the DHS for the purpose of identifying fugitives or suspected terrorists, was tested last fall after two years of being developed through government funding.
However, even though BOSS technology is apparently years away from being put to actual use, privacy advocates are already raising concerns over the development of facial recognition technology for use by the government. With expressed fears on the possibility that the system would be used to track everyone’s public movements simply by tapping into the comprehensive database of driver’s license photographs.
The concerns expressed by civil rights advocates are undoubtedly underpinned by the leaks released by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. who revealed details of several top-secret United States and British government mass surveillance programs to the press.