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        • BiometricsLend Me Your Ears: Securing Smart-Home Entry with Earprints

          Fingerprints and DNA are well-known forms of biometrics, thanks to crime dramas on television and at the movies. But as technology drives us toward the Internet of Things—the interconnection of computer devices in common objects—other forms of biometrics are sure to enter the cultural consciousness beyond use as forensics tools such as face recognition and retinas, veins, and palm prints. Researchers say that “earprints” could one day be used as person identification to secure smart homes via smartphones.

        • Face recognition & face masksA Face-Recognition Tech that Works Even for Masked Faces

          By Abigail Klein Leichman

          In these corona days, face-recognition technologies — used for a variety of security purposes — are severely challenged by the fact that everyone’s wearing protective masks. The Israeli company Corsight says it has solved that problem with autonomous artificial intelligence.

        • PrivacyNew Privacy Threat Combines Device Identification with Biometric Information

          A new study by computer scientists has revealed a new privacy threat from devices such as smartphones, smart doorbells and voice assistants that allows cyber attackers to access and combine device identification and biometric information.

        • PrivacyLawmaker Presses Clearview AI on Foreign Sales of Facial Recognition

          Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Massachusetts earlier this week raised new concerns about Clearview AI’s facial recognition app. Markey initially wrote to Clearview in January 2020 with concerns about how the company’s app might violate Americans’ civil liberties and privacy. Clearview is marketing its product to users in foreign countries with authoritarian regimes such as Saudi Arabia. The company might also be collecting and processing images of children from social media sites.

        • ForensicsForensic Proteomics: Going Beyond DNA Profiling

          A new book details an emerging forensic method that could become as widespread and trustworthy as DNA profiling. The method is called mass-spectrometry-based proteomics, which examines the proteins that make up many parts of living things. These proteins exist in unique combinations in everything from blood cells and clothing fibers to certain types of medicine and the diseases they fight. Because proteomics analyzes these proteins directly, forensic proteomics can fill in when DNA is missing, ambiguous, or was never present to begin with.

        • PrivacyU.S. Plans to Collect DNA from Nearly a Million Immigrants Despite Charges It Violates Privacy

          By Alex Ellerbeck

          The Trump administration is pushing ahead with a project that could lead to the government collecting DNA from hundreds of thousands of detained immigrants, some as young as 14 years old, alarming civil rights advocates. Once fully underway, the DNA program could become the largest U.S. law enforcement effort to systemically collect genetic material from people not accused of a crime.

        • Face recognitionEvaluating Effects of Race, Age, Sex on Face Recognition Software

          How accurately do face recognition software tools identify people of varied sex, age and racial background? According to a new study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the answer depends on the algorithm at the heart of the system, the application that uses it and the data it’s fed — but the majority of face recognition algorithms exhibit demographic differentials. A differential means that an algorithm’s ability to match two images of the same person varies from one demographic group to another.

        • PerspectiveInside America’s First All-Biometric Airline Terminal

          People still need more than their faces to enter and exit America on international flights, but Brandi Vincent writes that a growing number of early-stage facial recognition deployments that aim to screen passengers with little human intervention are rolling out at airports across the country.

        • BiometricsThe Effects of Race, Age, Sex on Face Recognition Software

          How accurately do face recognition software tools identify people of varied sex, age and racial background? According to a new study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the answer depends on the algorithm at the heart of the system, the application that uses it and the data it’s fed — but the majority of face recognition algorithms exhibit demographic differentials.

        • ArgumentCrack Down on Genomic Surveillance

          Across the world, DNA databases that could be used for state-level surveillance are steadily growing. Yves Moreau writes that “Now the stakes are higher for two reasons. First, as technology gets cheaper, many countries might want to build massive DNA databases. Second, DNA-profiling technology can be used in conjunction with other tools for biometric identification — and alongside the analysis of many other types of personal data, including an individual’s posting behavior on social networks.”

        • Argument: Facial recognition techFacial-Recognition Technology: Closer to Utopia Than Dystopia

          Is facial recognition technology ushering in the age of Big Brother, allowing the government to monitor what we do everywhere we do it? “This is the image that the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF), and a host of other alarmists are attempting to conjure in the minds of the media, elected officials, and the American public,” Robert Atkinson writes. But with the right regulations, “Americans can be safer and have more convenience with little or no reduction of our precious civil liberties.”

        • DNA testing at the borderDHS Sued to Obtain Information about Rapid DNA Testing of Migrant Families at the Border

          The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) sued the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) earlier this week to obtain information that will shine a light on the agency’s use of Rapid DNA technology on migrant families at the border to verify biological parent-child relationships. Refusing to provide DNA carries threat that children will be separated from families.

        • PerspectiveThe DNA Database Used to Find the Golden State Killer Is a National Security Leak Waiting to Happen

          A private DNA ancestry database that’s been used by police to catch criminals is a security risk from which a nation-state could steal DNA data on a million Americans, according to security researchers. Antonio Regalado writes that spies could use a crowdsourced genetic ancestry service to compromise your privacy—even if you’re not a member.

        • PerspectiveWhy We Must Ban Facial Recognition Software Now

          Facial recognition technology, once a darling of Silicon Valley with applications for policing, spying and authenticating identities, is suddenly under fire. Conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats have strongly criticized the technology. San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Somerville, Mass., have barred all of their government agencies, including the police, from using it. And several Democratic candidates for president have raised deep concerns about it, with one, Senator Bernie Sanders, calling for an outright ban for policing.

        • BiometricsSecurity in a Heartbeat

          Sandia National Laboratories is collaborating with Aquila, a New Mexico small business, to test and develop a biometric security system based on the human heartbeat. Aquila and Sandia will jointly assess the form the wearable may take, such as a wristband or chest strap. It would be an alternative to such things as fingerprints and eye scans when those access-control methods might be limited, such as in a laboratory where gloves or eye protection may be necessary.

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