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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Facebook to face class action lawsuit over facial recognition – CNET

Federal judge rules class action is the most efficient way to resolve dispute over the creation and storing of “face templates” in uploaded photos.
Source: CNET

A video game where you ride bitcoin price charts to the moon! – CNET

And then ride it all the way back down baby! Bear market here we come… wheeeeeeeee!
Source: CNET

Judge says class action suit against Facebook over facial recognition can go forward

Whenever a company may be guilty of something, from petty neglect to grand deception, there’s usually a class action lawsuit filed. But until a judge rules that lawsuit legitimate, the threat remains fairly empty. Unfortunately for Facebook, one major suit from 2015 has just been given that critical go-ahead.

The case concerns an Illinois law that prohibits collection of biometric information, including facial recognition data, in the way that Facebook has done for years as part of its photo-tagging systems.

BIPA, the Illinois law, is a real thorn in Facebook’s side. The company has not only been pushing to have the case dismissed, but it has been working to have the whole law changed by supporting an amendment that would defang it — but more on that another time.

(Update: Although Facebook’s own Manger of State Policy Daniel Sachs co-chairs a deregulatory tech council in the Illinois Chamber of Commerce that proposed the amendment, the company maintains that “We have not taken any position on the proposed legislation in Illinois, nor have we suggested language or spoken to any legislators about it.” You may decide for yourself the merit of that claim.)

Judge James Donato in California’s Northern District has made no determination as to the merits of the case itself; first, it must be shown that there is a class of affected people with a complaint that is supported by the facts.

For now, he has found (you can read the order here) that “plaintiffs’ claims are sufficiently cohesive to allow for a fair and efficient resolution on a class basis.” The class itself will consist of “Facebook users located in Illinois for whom Facebook created and stored a face template after June 7, 2011.”

An earlier, broader class suggested by the plaintiffs included all Illinois users who appeared in a photograph on Facebook, but the judge, commendably, decided that this would include people who appeared in images but were not in fact recognized or recorded as face templates by the recognition systems. The more limited class will still amount to millions of people.

Facebook’s attempt to discredit the suit, quibbling over definitions and saying the plaintiffs “know almost nothing” about the systems in question, did not go over well with the judge. “The deposition testimony by the named plaintiffs shows a perfectly adequate understanding of the case, and it clearly manifests their concerns about Facebook’s treatment of personal biometric data,” he writes.

Its suggestion that no “actual” harm was caused also fails to hold water: “As the Court has already found, there is no question that plaintiffs here has sufficiently alleged that intangible injury.” Requiring “actual” injury would severely limit the reach of a rule like BIPA in Illinois, because, of course, the harm caused is one to one’s privacy and security, not to one’s body or wallet. Of course, the question of whether users consented to their “intangible injury” is yet to be settled, and may be a major crux in the case.

Facebook also tries the old chestnut of saying its servers aren’t in Illinois, so Illinois law doesn’t apply. “Contrary to Facebook’s suggestion,” writes Donato, “the geographic location of its data servers is not a dispositive factor. Server location may be one factor in the territoriality inquiry, but it is not the exclusive one.”

Lastly and most absurdly, Facebook argued that to establish legitimacy it would be necessary to check which users’ face templates were derived from scans of printed photographs instead of natively digital shots. “This too is unavailing,” says Donato, citing a total lack of evidence presented by Facebook.

When contacted for comment, Facebook provided a simple statement:

We are reviewing the ruling. We continue to believe the case has no merit and will defend ourselves vigorously.

The case will go ahead as ordered, though as before, at a snail’s pace.


Source: TechCrunch

TaskRabbit app goes down as it investigates ‘cybersecurity incident’

TaskRabbit, the service that matches freelance labor with local demand, was taken offline on Monday while it investigates “a cybersecurity incident.” It’s not clear how many people have been affected by the apparent cyberattack.

The post TaskRabbit app goes down as it investigates ‘cybersecurity incident’ appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

The Eminem AR show

With the debut of his Eminem Augmented app at Coachella last night, hip hop’s not-so-merry prankster took the (somewhat revolutionary) step of embracing the machine that so many musicians have raged against — by building an experience that actually enhances the way that modern fans see live music.

Rather than fighting the mobile phone phenomena, which has fans watching sets through the reflected glow of a cell phone’s live recording, the multiplatinum megastar decided to lose himself in the moment… and own it.

We figured, if the phones are going to be there and people are going to be putting them up in the air and looking at them anyway why don’t we provide a way to maybe change the way they’re perceiving the show,” says Def Jam chief executive (and former manager for Marshall Mathers), Paul Rosenberg.

Developed by the multimedia production shop Drive Studios, Eminem’s live set at Coachella introduced fans to visuals that will grace tour dates around the U.S. and Europe as rap’s Duke of Detroit takes his show on the road. 

The concert experience is a geo-tagged time-stamped exclusive experience that is only visible within a few hundred yards of a live show, according to Drive Studios’ creative director, Rich Lee. 

“Artists and bands have been freaking out about fans having this passive experience with their phones,” said one person with knowledge of the artists’ thinking. “We wanted to experiment with… if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Why not embrace the technology and get people deeper into the experience and more engaged in the experience if they’re going to do it anyway.”

The app, which launched on Thursday contained perks for festival-goers who always wanted to see rap’s clown prince drop trou and dump a load of meatballs and spaghetti on them — or view a portal to Eminem’s wild world of music.

“There were ancillary pieces of content that we wanted to put into the app,” says the insider. “Having fun… Joking and having this experience with his fans, that layered very nicely with the Mom’s spaghetti pop-up.”

The Mom’s spaghetti interface took a simple image recognition feature of the universal food container used at the food stalls across the festival venue and layered Em’s spaghetti tossing graphics on top of it.

For Lee, who first worked with Eminem on the “Not Afraid” video in 2010, the augmented reality app is a first step for what could become a broader portal to connect with fans.

“We started talking about getting VR and AR for a while,” Lee says. “It’s only recently come about that this technology has come around to the point where we feel we could pull this stuff off.”

The creative team behind Eminem’s events won’t wade into the virtual reality vs. augmented reality debate. Rather, they say, the application that’s right for the job is the one that will win out. When virtual reality can become a more communal experience, then it will have more appeal for the Marshall Mathers show.


Source: TechCrunch

Tesla pauses Model 3 production

Tesla has paused the production of Model 3, Buzzfeed first reported. However, this seems to be part of Tesla’s planned downtime for Model 3.

“Our Model 3 production plan includes periods of planned downtime in both Fremont and Gigafactory 1,” a Tesla spokesperson said back in February and again today to TechCrunch. “These periods are used to improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks in order to increase production rates. This is not unusual and is in fact common in production ramps like this.”

This comes shortly after Tesla CEO Elon Musk admitted that he was over-automating the production of the cars.

“Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake,” Musk tweeted a couple of days ago. To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated.”

That admission came following Bernstein analysts Max Warburton and Toni Sacconaghi arguing Tesla was overusing automation in the final production of Model 3 assembly.

Last August, Tesla said it expected to produce 5,000 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of 2017. Tesla has since adjusted that number. In January, Tesla said it expects to end this quarter with a weekly rate of 2,500 Model 3 cars, with the goal to hit 5,000 per week by the end of Q2.

Earlier this month, Tesla said it was able to double the weekly Model 3 production rate over Q1 “by rapidly addressing production and supply chain bottlenecks, including several short factory shutdowns to upgrade equipment.”


Source: TechCrunch

Drone near-miss with commercial flight given highest risk rating – CNET

Commentary: UK authorities say that a drone passed a mere 20 feet over an Airbus 319 during takeoff.
Source: CNET

The White House Warns on Russian Router Hacking, But Muddles the Message

By scolding Russia for what looks like typical espionage, the US and UK are blurring red lines in cybersecurity.
Source: Wired

Hyundai goes all-in on big data with Verisk partnership – Roadshow

Hyundai is teaming up with one of the largest data exchanges for automobiles in the world to potentially save its customers some money on insurance.
Source: CNET

Lyft says its drivers have earned $500 million in tips – CNET

The last $100 million was given in just four months, the ride-hailing service says.
Source: CNET

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