Data Privacy

Technology • Internet & Web
Amazon puts one year halt on usage of its facial recognition software for police over alleged racial bias
Logo Amazon
Logo Amazon Credit: Amazon

Amazon has announced that it will put a one year halt on the usage of its facial recognition software for the police. The move comes after Amazon's technology had faced criticism because it misidentified people of color and protests against racism have broken out over the country. In its announcement blog Amazon says that other organizations could still use the software "to help rescue human trafficking victims and reunite missing children with their families" and calls for government regulation regarding "the ethical use of facial recognition technology".

Technology • Internet & Web
IBM announces that it will stop working on facial recognition technology

The IBM CEO Arvind Krishna has announced in a letter to the US Congress that IBM will no longer offer software for general-purpose facial recognition and analysis. In addition to not selling the software, IBM will stop developing or researching such technology. In the letter, Krishna stated that "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"

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
UK has provided sensitive medical records to tech companies such as Google, Microsoft and Palantir

The government of the United Kingdom has given several technology companies access to medical data which include gender, race, physical and mental health conditions, personal contact details, political affiliation, and other data points. The data-sharing agreements have been published by the website OpenDemocracy and law firm Foxglove. In exchange for the data, the United Kingdom receives "technical, advisory and other support" from Google and the Foundry data management software from Palantir for only £1.

Regional News • Americas • South America
Head of intelligence agency of Argentina denounces political espionage by previous government

Cristina Caamaño, the new head of the federal intelligence agency of Argentina (Agencia Federal de Inteligencia - AFI) filed a complaint showing evidence of illegal political espionage by the agency under the previous government of Mauricio Macri.

Intercepted emails from about 80 opposition politicians, journalists , businessmen and law enforcement were recovered from a deleted hard drive.

German Police officers investigated for unauthorized use of police computers

Two police officers and former members of the Uniter association, which is monitored by the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, are being investigated for unauthorized data queries from police computers.

The association is suspected of having formed a network of elite soldiers, military personnel, employees from security agencies and the private security industry. It is said that paramilitary training allegedly has been offered by the group.

Uniter is also repeatedly associated with right-wing terrorist groups such as "Nordkreuz", which are preparing for a coup and day X.

Technology • Internet & Web
Apple's iOS vulnerable to attack via Zero Day Exploit through prepared emails

Two security vulnerabilities in iOS have been actively exploited for several years. One patch has not yet been applied. Attackers can exploit the vulnerabilities via prepared emails that they send to their victims. Currently, iOS users should no longer use Apple's integrated mail app. Under iOS 12, the attacker email must be opened by the user. However, this e-mail does not contain any content. Under iOS 13, the attack can be carried out in the background without any user interaction. Only the mail app in the mobile operating system is affected. macOS is not affected.