The Weekly Cypher is curated to keep you up-to-date on the latest in biometric and cybersecurity news. Here are a few headlines you may have missed this week.
Japan looking at facial recognition to restrict addicts from gambling | Biometric Update
The government of Japan plans to ask gambling venue operators to consider using facial recognition systems to restrict admission of gambling addicts, The Japan Times reports. The adoption of facial recognition systems is part of a basic plan to combat gambling addiction as the government looks to pave the way for opening casinos in the nation. Last March, the government revealed it was looking to implement biometric identification technology to verify the identity of locals entering casino resorts.
The US Department of Homeland Security is reportedly rushing to set up facial recognition systems that will scan all international passengers – including US citizens – in the top 20 US airports by 2021. This is being done without proper vetting or regulatory safeguards, according to a BuzzFeed News report Monday. There were reportedly “no limits” on how partnering airlines could use facial recognition data collected by the US Customs and Border Protection program, according to BuzzFeed News’ deep dive into 346 pages of documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a nonprofit research group. CBP reportedly limited participating companies and third-party firms from using this data in December, but it’s unclear how the new rule is being enforced.
Florida proposes state biometric data privacy legislation | Health IT Security
The Florida state legislature is currently considering two bills that address biometric information privacy, one introduced by State Rep. Bobby DuBose and another from State Sen. Gary Farmer, Jr. SB 1270 and HB 1153 are both designed to establish requirements and restrictions on private businesses for the use, collection, and maintenance of biometric identifiers and biometric data. Further, the bills would create a private cause of action for businesses that violate the law.
Facial recognition’s ‘dirty little secret’: millions of online photos scraped without consent | NBC News
As algorithms get more advanced, meaning they are better able to identify women and people of color, a task they have historically struggled with, legal experts and civil rights advocates are sounding the alarm on researchers’ use of photos of ordinary people. These people’s faces are being used without their consent, in order to power technology that could eventually be used to surveil them. In fact, in January, IBM released a collection of nearly a million photos that were taken from the photo hosting site Flickr and coded to describe the subjects’ appearance. IBM promoted the collection to researchers as a progressive step toward reducing bias in facial recognition. However, many photographers whose images were included, were unaware of this step and concerned about the privacy ramifications associated with this.
The Futian subway station in Shenzen, China is testing facial recognition payments, according to the South China Morning Post. Every time a commuter looks at a small tablet, it recognizes their face and deducts their fare from a previously-linked payment method. The system is powered by a super-fast 5G network connection that could ultimately allow the technology to scale for millions of riders.