Police in West Yorkshire, England are rolling out mobile fingerprint scanners to instantly identify criminal suspects and people "experiencing a medical emergency". Two hundred and fifty mobile devices are being deployed in West Yorkshire, and the British government says the tech will come to 20 police departments across the country by the end of this year. The scanners remotely check a person's fingerprint against criminal and immigration databases, which experts say bypass safeguards against police overreach. The process takes less than one minute.
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Chinese police have begun using glasses equipped with facial recognition-enabled cameras to spot fugitives travelling through train stations. Though Chinese police have said the glasses will spot people using fake IDs or travelling to avoid a warrant, many are concerned about China using the tech to target political advocates and minorities. China has been accused of using face recognition tech to "fence in" the Muslim Uighur minority in northwestern Xinjiang.
According to a new report by surveillance law researchers, the US Department of Homeland Security's $US1 billion "Biometric Exit Program," which requires travellers submit to face recognition scans, may violate US federal law. Starting in June, several airports began mandating face scans at boarding gates for some international flights. The DHS has argued the program prevents identity fraud, but the researchers say the program is on shaky legal ground and has numerous technical flaws.
Body cameras have been seen as an elegant solution to the complex problem of police brutality, but a new survey of 75 police departments across the US found that the policies governing them have, as a whole, failed to foster transparency, protect privacy or defend civil rights. "Police Body Worn Cameras: A Policy Scorecard", a yearly report released by Upturn and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights this week, found numerous key weaknesses in body cam policies across the US.
An alliance of more than 50 civil liberties groups and more than 50 individual AI experts sent dual letters to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today, calling for the end of a plan to screen immigrants with predictive "extreme vetting" software. In a separate petition also launched today, several groups specifically urged IBM not to help build the extreme vetting tool. This winter, representatives of IBM, Booz Allen Hamilton, LexisNexis and other companies attended an information session with DHS officials interested in their capacity for predictive software, The Intercept reports.
Six local Black Lives Matter members in Clarkstown, New York have filed a federal suit against the town, its chief of police, police sergeant, and its Special Investigations Unit, accusing them of racial profiling and illegal surveillance that violated their first and 14th amendment rights. In a response to a local news outlet, Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe denied the charges. The SIU, he says, does not engage in the illegal surveillance BLM members have alleged.