• SurveillanceFace Surveillance and the Capitol Attack

    By Jason Kelley

    After last week’s violent attack on the Capitol, law enforcement is working overtime to identify the perpetrators. This is critical to accountability for the attempted insurrection. Law enforcement has many, many tools at their disposal to do this, especially given the very public nature of most of the organizing. But the Electronic Frontier Foundations (EFF) says it objects to one method reportedly being used to determine who was involved: law enforcement using facial recognition technologies to compare photos of unidentified individuals from the Capitol attack to databases of photos of known individuals. “There are just too many risks and problems in this approach, both technically and legally, to justify its use,” the EFF says.

  • Airport securityScreening Masked Faces at Airports: 96% Accuracy in Recent Test

    A controlled scenario test by the DHS S&T shows promising results for facial recognition technologies to accurately identify individuals wearing protective face masks.

  • Face masksFace Masks Change the Way We Process Faces

    Ever want to walk over to say hello to someone but you’re not sure the person behind the mask is in fact someone you know? Researchers say you’re not alone.

  • ID during COVIDIdentity Verification in the Age of COVID-19

    Face masks have become a way of life due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We now wear them nearly everywhere we go—at grocery stores, on public transportation, in schools, at work—any situation that requires us to be around others. But what about at places that require a higher level of security, like airports?

  • ID during COVIDFace Recognition Software Improving in Recognizing Masked Faces

    A new study of face recognition technology created after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic shows that some software developers have made demonstrable progress at recognizing masked faces.

  • BiometricsFinger Veins-Based 3D Biometric Authentication Almost Impossible to Fool

    Biometric authentication, which uses unique anatomical features such as fingerprints or facial features to verify a person’s identity, is increasingly replacing traditional passwords for accessing everything from smartphones to law enforcement systems. A newly developed approach that uses 3D images of finger veins could greatly increase the security of this type of authentication. Combining light and sound adds depth information that boosts security of biometric authentication.

  • PrivacyProtecting Yourself against Facial Recognition Software

    The rapid rise of facial recognition systems has placed the technology into many facets of our daily lives, whether we know it or not. What might seem innocuous when Facebook identifies a friend in an uploaded photo grows more ominous in enterprises such as Clearview AI, a private company that trained its facial recognition system on billions of images scraped without consent from social media and the internet. A new research project from the University of Chicago provides a powerful new protection mechanism.

  • BiometricsNo Laughing Matter: Laughter Signature as New Biometrics

    The popular view of biometric security often invokes fingerprint readers, iris or retinal scans, and voice-activated systems. Researchers have now demonstrated how the way a person laughs might be used in biometrics. Initial tests of the approach show that a prototype laughter recognition algorithm can be 90 percent accurate.

  • SurveillanceLarge-Scale Facial Recognition Is Incompatible with a Free Society

    By Seth Lazar, Claire Benn, and Mario Günther

    In the U.S., tireless opposition to state use of facial recognition algorithms has recently won some victories. Outside the U.S., however, the tide is heading in the other direction. To decide whether to expand or limit the use of facial recognition technology, nations will need to answer fundamental questions about the kind of people, and the kind of society, they want to be. Face surveillance is based on morally compromised research, violates our rights, is harmful, and exacerbates structural injustice, both when it works and when it fails. Its adoption harms individuals, and makes our society as a whole more unjust, and less free. A moratorium on its use is the least we should demand.

  • BiometricsTightening Up Facial Biometrics

    Facial biometrics for security applications is an important modern technology. Unfortunately, there is the possibility of “spoofing” a person’s face to the sensor or detection system through the use of a photograph or even video presented to the security system. Researchers have now developed a way to thwart spoofing.

  • BiometricsLend Me Your Ears: Securing Smart-Home Entry with Earprints

    Fingerprints and DNA are well-known forms of biometrics, thanks to crime dramas on television and at the movies. But as technology drives us toward the Internet of Things—the interconnection of computer devices in common objects—other forms of biometrics are sure to enter the cultural consciousness beyond use as forensics tools such as face recognition and retinas, veins, and palm prints. Researchers say that “earprints” could one day be used as person identification to secure smart homes via smartphones.

  • Face recognition & face masksA Face-Recognition Tech that Works Even for Masked Faces

    By Abigail Klein Leichman

    In these corona days, face-recognition technologies — used for a variety of security purposes — are severely challenged by the fact that everyone’s wearing protective masks. The Israeli company Corsight says it has solved that problem with autonomous artificial intelligence.

  • PrivacyNew Privacy Threat Combines Device Identification with Biometric Information

    A new study by computer scientists has revealed a new privacy threat from devices such as smartphones, smart doorbells and voice assistants that allows cyber attackers to access and combine device identification and biometric information.

  • PrivacyLawmaker Presses Clearview AI on Foreign Sales of Facial Recognition

    Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Massachusetts earlier this week raised new concerns about Clearview AI’s facial recognition app. Markey initially wrote to Clearview in January 2020 with concerns about how the company’s app might violate Americans’ civil liberties and privacy. Clearview is marketing its product to users in foreign countries with authoritarian regimes such as Saudi Arabia. The company might also be collecting and processing images of children from social media sites.

  • ForensicsForensic Proteomics: Going Beyond DNA Profiling

    A new book details an emerging forensic method that could become as widespread and trustworthy as DNA profiling. The method is called mass-spectrometry-based proteomics, which examines the proteins that make up many parts of living things. These proteins exist in unique combinations in everything from blood cells and clothing fibers to certain types of medicine and the diseases they fight. Because proteomics analyzes these proteins directly, forensic proteomics can fill in when DNA is missing, ambiguous, or was never present to begin with.