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Category Archives: EU Data Protection

IBM promised to back off facial recognition then signed a $69.8M contract to provide it

The Verge: “The company denies its new government deal enables ‘general purpose’ biometric surveillance. Human rights advocates disagree. IBM has returned to the facial recognition market — just three years after announcing it was abandoning work on the technology due to concerns about racial profiling, mass surveillance, and other human rights violations. In June 2020, as Black Lives Matter protests swept the US after George Floyd’s murder, IBM chief executive Arvind Krishna wrote a letter to Congress announcing that the company would no longer offer “general purpose” facial recognition technology. “The fight against racism is as urgent as ever,” he wrote. “IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms, or any purpose which is not consistent with our values and Principles of Trust and Transparency.” Later that year, the company redoubled its commitment, calling for US export controls to address concerns that facial recognition could be used overseas “to suppress dissent, to infringe on the rights of minorities, or to erase basic expectations of privacy.” Despite these announcements, last month, IBM signed a $69.8 million (£54.7 million) contract with the British government to develop a national biometrics platform that will offer a facial recognition function to immigration and law enforcement officials, according to documents reviewed by The Verge and Liberty Investigates, an investigative journalism unit in the UK. A contract notice for the Home Office Biometrics Matcher Platform outlines how the project initially involves developing a fingerprint matching capability, while later stages introduce facial recognition for immigration purposes — described as “an enabler for strategic facial matching for law enforcement.” The final stage of the project is described as delivery of a “facial matching for law enforcement use-case.”

Social media giants urged to tackle data-scraping privacy risks

Tech Crunch: “A joint statement signed by regulators at a dozen international privacy watchdogs, including the U.K.’s ICO, Canada’s OPC and Hong Kong’s OPCPD, has urged mainstream social media platforms to protect users’ public posts from scraping — warning they face a legal responsibility to do so in most markets. “In most jurisdictions, personal information… Continue Reading

How governments are looking to regulate AI

Economist Intelligence – EIU: The EU has taken the lead with the strictest rules, which will have the biggest impact globally Chinese rules are also strict, but their impact is domestic, and geared towards keeping control and power with the ruling party The US favours innovation, and its political system hinders any attempt at regulation,… Continue Reading

The Coolest Library on Earth

Hakai Magazine:  “At the University of Copenhagen, researchers store ice cores that hold the keys to Earth’s climate past and future…Copenhagen is one of several places in the world where pieces of ice cores drilled from our planet’s extremities are kept safely cold. Other large research freezers are located in the United States, Australia, France,… Continue Reading

Do Foundation Model Providers Comply with the Draft EU AI Act?

Stanford University Center for Research on Foundation Models, Rishi Bommasani and Kevin Klyman and Daniel Zhang and Percy Liang: “Foundation models like ChatGPT are transforming society with their remarkable capabilities, serious risks, rapid deployment, unprecedented adoption, and unending controversy. Simultaneously, the European Union (EU) is finalizing its AI Act as the world’s first comprehensive regulation… Continue Reading

Data Act: Commission welcomes political agreement on rules for a fair and innovative data economy

European Commission: “The Commission welcomes the political agreement reached today between the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, on the European Data Act, proposed by the Commission in February 2022. Today, the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution fuels exponential growth with projected data volume set to skyrocket in the coming years. A significant… Continue Reading

Top EU Tech Regulator – Twitter to Face Stress Test This Month

WSJ [free link to article]: “European Union regulators plan to subject Twitter to a stress test to determine how well it complies with Europe’s new digital-content law, a top EU tech regulator said, ramping up the bloc’s preparations for enforcing the West’s most far-reaching digital-content law. A team of roughly five to 10 digital specialists… Continue Reading

EU names 19 large tech platforms that must follow Europe’s new Internet rules

Ars Technica: “The European Commission will require 19 large online platforms and search engines to comply with new online content regulations starting on August 25, European officials said. The EC specified which companies must comply with the rules for the first time, announcing today that it “adopted the first designation decisions under the Digital Services… Continue Reading

Digital Privacy Legislation is Civil Rights Legislation

EFF: “As Congress ponders legislation to reform “big tech,” it must view comprehensive digital privacy legislation as desperately needed civil rights legislation, because data abuses often disproportionately harm communities already bearing the brunt of other inequalities. Harvesting and monetizing personal data whenever anyone uses social media or even vital online services has become ubiquitous, yet… Continue Reading

Primer – Artificial Intelligence, Human Rights, Democracy, and the Rule of Law

The Alan Turing Institute and the Council of Europe: Primer – Artificial Intelligence, Human Rights, Democracy, and the Rule of Law: “…It is a remarkable fact that rapid advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and data-driven technologies over the last two decades have placed contemporary society at a pivot-point in deciding what shape the future of… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, February 18, 2023

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, February 18, 2023 – Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the… Continue Reading

ChatGPT Amendment Shows the EU is Regulating by Outrage

Center for Data Innovation, Patrick Grady February 13, 2023: “The EU is considering placing generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools, such as ChatGPT, in a “high risk” category in its upcoming AI bill, thereby subjecting such tools to burdensome compliance requirements. This sloppy addition needlessly stunts creativity and shows the EU is hitting the panic button… Continue Reading