Lawmakers are intensifying their calls for a temporary ban on the federal government’s use of facial recognition technology after the disclosure that the FBI has amassed a database of more than 640 million photographs.
You're probably aware that Google keeps tabs on what you're up to on its devices, apps, and services--but you might not realize just how far its tracking reach extends, into the places you go, the purchases you make, and much more. It's an extensive set of data, but you can take more control over what Google collects about you and how long the company keeps it. Here's how.
"It seems to me it’s time for a time out," House Oversight and Reform Committee ranking member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said during the hearing. "[This technology] is virtually unregulated -- but I think that frankly needs to change." The intensifying federal scrutiny comes amid a national debate over the technology, which has attracted the criticism of privacy and civil rights activists and calls for new restrictions.
Lawmakers moved on a host of bills this week centered around educational technology, including legislation aimed at restoring student privacy, bolstering the nation’s cybersecurity workforce, funding school security and better understanding participation in science and technology-related subjects among underrepresented groups.
Police say facial recognition is “essential” and “imperative” -- a groundbreaking tool that allows them to track down criminals who would otherwise escape justice. Opponents say the technology is “nefarious” and “dangerous” -- an omen of repressive government surveillance.
There’s a common theme running through the spring season of developer conferences and tech events: trust and privacy. With the tech industry facing a backlash from consumers and regulators, tech giants including Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft are looking to assure everyone that they’re listening. But each company is approaching the issue in a very different way, and with a very different track record on the topic.
The feature allows users to set a time limit for Google to retain certain types of data, either three months or 18 months, after which the information is automatically deleted. For now, the auto-delete feature is only available for “Web & App Activity,” which tracks things like your searches and other browsing data. The company will offer options across more services in the future, including highly anticipated controls for location data (there are other ways to turn that tracking off in the meantime).
Would you let a stranger eavesdrop in your home and keep the recordings? For most people, the answer is, "Are you crazy?" Yet that's essentially what Amazon has been doing to millions of us with its assistant Alexa in microphone-equipped Echo speakers. And it's hardly alone: Bugging our homes is Silicon Valley's next frontier.
Senators are looking to intensify their work on drafting the nation's first consumer privacy bill, amid doubts they are any closer to a breakthrough after months of talks. At a hearing Wednesday, consumer advocates testified before the Senate Commerce Committee to offer their input on a potential federal privacy framework.
The Russian government is one step away from essentially cutting its population off from the global internet. The controversial “sovereign internet law” passed last week by the legislature’s upper house needs only President Vladimir Putin’s signature to require online traffic to pass through servers run by the government’s internet regulation agency by 2021, allowing the Kremlin to much better observe and control what Russian citizens are doing.