This interactive face recognition tool measures your attractiveness, BMI and age

A new interactive documentary "How Normal Am I?" helps reveal the shortcomings of facial recognition technology.

Credit: hownormalami.eu
  • The website is part of SHERPA, a European Union-funded "project which analyses how AI and big data analytics impact ethics and human rights."
  • The interactive documentary uses your webcam to analyze your face, predicting metrics like age, attractiveness, gender, body mass index and life expectancy.
  • Despite the shortcomings of facial recognition, there's currently no set of national laws regulating the use of the technology by governments or private companies.
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Police can track cars nationwide with new license plate surveillance network

The system is basically facial recognition technology, but for cars.

Flock Safety
  • Some police departments use automatic license plate readers to track suspects.
  • A company called Flock Safety is now allowing police departments to opt in to a national network, which shares data on car movements.
  • Privacy advocates are concerned about the potential for errors and abuse.
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The Secret Service is buying social media location data

New documents confirm that the government agency—one of many—has been using a tracking company.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images
  • Documents reveal that the Secret Service used Locate X as part of a social media tracking package.
  • The service "allows investigators to draw a digital fence around an address or area, pinpoint mobile devices that were within that area, and see where else those devices have traveled, going back months."
  • Other agencies that have used this service include the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Customs and Border Protection, the Coast Guard, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
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How face masks are fooling facial recognition software

A new study explores how wearing a face mask affects the error rates of popular facial recognition algorithms.

Credit: B. Hayes/NIST
  • The study measured the error rates of 89 commercial facial recognition technologies as they attempted to match photos of people with and without masks.
  • Wearing a mask increased error rates by 5 to 50 percent among the algorithms.
  • The researchers said they expect facial recognition technology to get better at recognizing people wearing masks. But it's not clear that that's what Americans want.
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How governments are responding to the public's demand for more data transparency

Innovative use of blockchain tech, data trusts, algorithm assessments, and cultural shifts abound.

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  • A study published last year by the Pew Research Center found that most American's distrust the federal government, and there's plenty of evidence to suggest that the situation has yet to improve.
  • Governments have more access than ever to our private information, which creates an inherent tension between how they can use data for the public good while ensuring they aren't abusing citizens' privacy rights.
  • As emerging technologies mature, it will become more evident to the public which models are the most effective ways for governments to achieve the levels of transparency they've committed to delivering.

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