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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

WhatsApp Was Hacked, Your Computer Was Exposed, and More News

Catch up on the most important news today in 2 minutes or less.
Source: Wired

San Francisco Bans Agency Use of Facial Recognition Tech

Other cities, including Oakland, and Somerville, Massachusetts, are also considering bans on the technology as a threat to civil liberties.
Source: Wired

San Francisco passes city government ban on facial recognition tech

On Tuesday, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted to approve a ban on the use of facial recognition tech by city agencies, including the police department. The Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance, introduced by San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin, is the first ban of its kind for a major American city and the seventh major surveillance oversight effort for a municipality in California.

“I want to be clear — this is not an anti-technology policy,” Peskin said during Tuesday’s board meeting. Peskin deemphasized the ban aspect of the ordinance, instead framing it as an outgrowth of the sweeping data privacy reforms signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown last year and an extension of prior efforts in other counties around the state. In 2016, Santa Clara county passed its own predecessor to San Francisco’s surveillance oversight policy, but that ordinance did not include a ban.

Peskin clarified that the ordinance is an accountability measure “to ensure the safe and responsible use” of surveillance tech and to allow the public to be involved in decisions like how long data is stored and who can see it.

The ordinance passed by a vote of eight to one, with San Francisco District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani dissenting. Nonetheless, Stefani called the ordinance “a very well-intentioned piece of legislation” and lauded the board’s ability to handle respectful disagreement. Last week, the board’s Rules Committee elected to move forward with a vote on the proposal.

Importantly, the ordinance also includes a provision that would require city departments to seek specific approval before acquiring any new surveillance equipment. The ban would not impact facial recognition tech deployed by private companies, though it would affect any companies selling tech to the city government.

While city agencies will need to seek approval to buy new surveillance devices, they will be allowed to continue using what they already have, including police body cameras and license plate readers. Supervisors expressed hope that the ordinance would lead to a full accounting of such equipment.

Among the many divisive aspects of facial recognition is the technology’s disproportionate impact on already heavily policed communities of color. Recent research suggests that non-white individuals are not recognized as accurately as their white peers, a discrepancy that bakes racial profiling right into the tech itself.

The split over the ban is energizing both anti-surveillance groups and proponents of high-tech policing. The ban’s supporters include the ACLU, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and local groups like Oakland Privacy.

“If unleashed, face surveillance would suppress civic engagement, compound discriminatory policing, and fundamentally change how we exist in public spaces,” the ACLU of Northern California’s Matt Cagle and Brian Hofer, chair of Oakland’s Privacy Advisory Commission, wrote last week in an op-ed arguing in favor of the ordinance.

Other cities and states are looking into bans on facial recognition tech, though San Francisco’s own efforts are the most mature to date. For example, a bill in Washington state would require facial recognition software to open itself to third-party testing. In that case, major tech companies are weighing the cost to their future business against public sentiment that facial recognition and other surveillance techniques are an invasive way for tech companies to leverage their power.

Across the bridge from San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley are both mulling their own sets of regulations for facial recognition tech, known as the Surveillance and Community Safety Ordinance and Surveillance Technology Use and Community Safety Ordinance, respectively. The East Bay might not be far behind San Francisco’s own vote.


Source: TechCrunch

El mundo suspende en alimentación, agricultura y ganadería

De cara al cambio climático y al aumento imparable de la población, un análisis sobre el ecosistema alimenticio global revela que la humanidad lo hace casi todo mal, desde el planteamiento del uso del suelo hasta el consumo de carne y las variedades más consumidas
Source: MIT

CRISPR: la poderosa tecnología que se lanzó sin botón de apagado

Cuando Jennifer Doudna soñó que Hitler quería la receta de la tecnología se dio cuenta de que era imprescindible aprender a desactivarla por si caía en malas manos. Varios grupos ya trabajan en distintos enfoques para encontrar una kriptonia que la detenga, y ya hay varias candidatas
Source: MIT

Get ready to waste your day with this creepily accurate text-generating A.I.

Remember the text-generating A.I. created by research lab OpenA.I. that was supposedly too dangerous to release to the public? Well, someone just released a version of it. Check it out.

The post Get ready to waste your day with this creepily accurate text-generating A.I. appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Innowatts raises $18 million for its energy monitoring toolkit for utilities

Innowatts, an automated toolkit for energy monitoring and management targeting utilities has raised $18.2 million in a new round of funding from investors led by Energy Impact Partners .

Previous investors, Shell Ventures, Iberdrola and Energy and Environment Investment participated along with another new investor, Evergy Ventures.

As utilities respond to new, renewable power coming online and adapt to the challenges presented by natural disasters and intermittent energy sources stressing old power grid assets, they are increasingly turning to new software toolkits to adapt.

Innowatts and its software fit squarely into that category of offering.

“Competing in today’s complex and evolving marketplace requires utility companies use data and intelligence to drive business and customer value,” said Siddhartha Sachdeva, founder and chief executive of Innowatts, in a statement.

The company’s technology is used to analyze meter data from 21 million customers globally in 13 regional energy markets.

Innowatts boasts that it’s the largest body of customer intelligence data consumed by a software company. How that data will be used is an open question.

“We invest in companies driving the transformation of the energy sector towards an increasingly decarbonized, digitized, and electrified future – solutions that our utility partners can commercialize at scale and have the greatest impact,” said Michael Donnelly, Partner and Chief Risk Officer at EIP, in a statement. “Innowatts is poised to become a key building block in the software-driven, intelligent grid of the future, and we look forward to working closely with them alongside our utility partners.”

The company uses the data it collects to predict the potential for outages or problems created by surges in energy demand so that utilities can dispatch resources to meet that demand without sacrificing reliability for customers.

“Utilities have the opportunity to deliver more value to customers, at lower costs and with greater personalization than ever before, while helping streamline the complex energy marketplace,” said Geert van de Wouw, Vice President Shell Ventures.


Source: TechCrunch

How VSCO Builds Film-Like Smartphone Photo Filters in Its Lab

Whether or not you’ve heard of VSCO, your iPhone snapshots could benefit from their photography science.
Source: Wired

The Great Firewall of China blocks off Wikipedia – CNET

And it’s not because of students cheating on research papers.
Source: CNET

The OnePlus 7 Pro has the iPhone XR and Galaxy S10E in its sights – CNET

OnePlus’ latest starts at $669.
Source: CNET

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