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Tech news, HAT-slanted 
Issue 158
Face/Off Recognition
 
The EU's thinking about banning facial recognition tech in public spaces for up to five years. It wants to buy time, to assess the impact of what it calls 'biometric remote identification' and how to manage its risks, a leaked whitepaper on AI reveals. 
 
Hardly surprising news. Concerns have been mounting worldwide over how such tech infringes on privacy, and its potential misuse in an increasingly surveilled society. If Europe goes ahead with a ban, it will follow US cities like San Francisco and Somerville that have already outlawed government use of facial recognition.
 
Facial recognition tech continues to break new ground as well as fuel debate over its use for both good and bad. Like the Clearwater AI app currently used by over 600 US law enforcement agencies to fight crime, but could well put an end to our public anonymity. Or the US military building tech that identifies people from the heat their faces emit, in the dark, at long range. Good if you're into assassinating the correct despot. Not so if your spying ex gets their hands on it. And what about the speed of 5G? Coupled with facial recognition tech, it can help nosy Parkers dob on their neighbours really effectively.
 
The tech is developing at such breakneck pace, so calling a temporary halt to its use is really not a bad idea. But let's see how much a five-year hiatus will help. At least Europe can draw on lessons learnt from test runs: aka the new bills coming in Stateside this year. But it could also be left behind as the rest of the world moves forward.


Yours in HAT,

Leila Trilby, Editor-in-chief

The Past

 A blast through the past—and not much else—is what this CCPA data request to Instagram revealed.

The Present

Slate mag ranks the 30 most harmful tech companies. No prizes for scrolling all the way to the end first... 
 
Small is no longer beautiful in the Valley—surprise, surprise—and China's the scapegoat. 
 
Meanwhile, TikTok's overtaken Facebook as the world's second most popular app.

The Future 

Google says goodbye to third-party cookies by 2022, but not to targeted advertising. 
 
Green creds to Microsoft: it's pledged US$1 billion to go carbon negative by 2030. 

The Doghouse

The ICO's supposed to come down hard on data breaches. So why isn't it doing its job
 
It was meant for fighting crime. But the eSurv spyware did a lot more than that
 
Swipe left—or right—on that dating app, and you could share your info with advertisers too.

Downtime                        

Stray Cat Blues or Alley Cats? A Pet Playlist is yet another way to make your cat (or dog, or iguana) happy.

HAT News 

Welcome. To Nettle, Families With Kids and IConsult who joined the Ethical Tech Alliance this week. All for a better internet!

Watchlist. Dataswift's been longlisted for Cofinitive's #21toWatch Companies. Nothing like recognition to make your day.
 
Working it out. Dataswift Head of Product Harps blogs about her journey of discovering digital identity

Apply now.  Vacancies in business development, product and engineering at Dataswift. 

Designing rights. HATLAB's Trust Technology Challenge is funding HAT-related research. Find out more at the HAT Ecosystem Meetup on Jan 30.
 
Speaking of research. New paper out on the Internet of Everything, co-authored by Irene, in the Journal of Business Research.

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