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Amazon set for facial recognition revolt

By Leo Kelion Technology desk editor 22 May 2019 Image copyright Amazon Image caption Rekognition can match photos to databases holding millions of people's faces Opposition to Amazon's sale of its facial recognition technology to US police forces is set to come to a head at its annual general meeting on Wednesday.
Shareholders will vote twice on the matter.
First, over whether the company should stop offering its Rekognition system to government agencies.
And second, over whether to ..

Instagram: Facebook probes breach of millions of influencer accounts

Instagram: Facebook probes breach of millions of influencer accounts 21 May 2019 Image copyright Getty Images Photo sharing site Instagram says it is trying to find out how contact details of almost 50 million of its users were stored online in an unguarded database.
TechCrunch, which broke the story, said it included personal information such as email and phone numbers of high profile users known as “influencers”.
The database has been traced to a Mumbai-based company called Chtrbox.
Instagram,..

Bleach peddled as ‘miracle’ autism cure on YouTube

Bleach peddled as 'miracle' autism cure on YouTube 21 May 2019 Image copyright Getty Images Hundreds of videos that promote bleach as a cure for autism have been discovered on YouTube.
The substance, which is peddled as “Miracle Mineral Solution” (MMS), has reportedly caused dozens of injuries and two deaths in the US.
According to an investigation by technology news site Business Insider some appeared in the top three search results for “autism cure”.
YouTube removed most of them af..

Female-voice AI reinforces bias, says UN report

Female-voice AI reinforces bias, says UN report By Jane Wakefield Technology reporter 21 May 2019 Image caption Most smart-speaker assistants have a female voice AI-powered voice assistants with female voices are perpetuating harmful gender biases, according to a UN study.
These female helpers are portrayed as “obliging and eager to please”, reinforcing the idea that women are “subservient”, it finds.
Particularly worrying, it says, is how they often give “deflecting, lacklustre or apologetic re..

Google changes policy on abortion advertising

Google changes policy on abortion advertising 21 May 2019 Image copyright AFP Google will require advertisers who wish to run ads about abortion to apply for approval first, according to a change in the company's policy.
Advertisers in the UK, US and Ireland will need to declare whether they do or do not provide abortions.
That information will be displayed in Google search results.
According to the policy, the changes will help users “decide which abortion-related ads are relevant to the..

Facial recognition technology: Who watches the watchers?

By Rowland Manthorpe, technology correspondent
We are heading, with great speed, towards an epochal moment in the history of computing.
Until very recently, computers could do what a human might describe as “read” – they could take in information, as long as it was presented in a language they understood.
Now, thanks to artificial intelligence, computers are learning how to “see”.
Are police illegally using facial recognition technology? They can ingest, filter and store the entire visual universe, whether or not it has been rendered in an appropriate format.
Before, computers could only see QR codes. Now, increasingly, life is a QR code.
The significance of this can hardly be underestimated. Under the untiring, telescopic eyes of seeing computers, every fragment of experience can be digested and regurgitated for human use – or, to be more precise, for the use of the humans with access to the cameras.
That's why a current legal challenge against police use of facial recogni..

Millions of Instagram influencers’ private details accessible in database

The personal information of millions of Instagram influencers has been found in an online database.
The information was stored on a server without password protection, leaving it vulnerable and accessible to anyone.
TechCrunch reported that it contained more than 49 million records, including information like email addresses and phone numbers of Instagram users.
The report said the majority of accounts belonged to influencers, celebrities and brands and was traced to an Indian marketing company called Chtrbox.
An Instagram spokesman said: “We are investigating whether a third party improperly stored Instagram data, in violation of our policies.
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“It's also not clear whether the phone numbers and emails in Chtrbox's database came from Instagram.
“Regardless, the possibility of third parties mishandling user data is something we take seriously, which is why we're quickly working to understand what happened.”
More from Instagram The database was taken o..

US warns of threat from Chinese drone companies

US warns of threat from Chinese drone companies 21 May 2019 Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The alert states that the US government has “strong concerns” that drone-makers are storing data on China-based computer servers The US government has issued an alert warning that Chinese-made drones could pose a cyber-espionage risk to American businesses and other organisations that use them.
The notice added that those using the flying aircraft for tasks related to national security or criti..

Over The Rainbow composer sues Apple and other tech firms for piracy

Over The Rainbow composer sues Apple and other tech firms for piracy By Mark Savage BBC Music reporter 21 May 2019 Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Arlen's son is seeking up to $4.5m in damages The estate of Harold Arlen – who wrote such American songbook classics as Over The Rainbow and Get Happy – is suing some of the world's biggest tech firms.
Arlen's son, Sam Arlen, says he has found more than 6,000 unauthorised copies of his songs on Apple, Google, Amazon and Micro..

Ren Zhengfei says US government ‘underestimates’ Huawei

Ren Zhengfei says US government 'underestimates' Huawei 21 May 2019 Image copyright Getty Images Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei has remained defiant towards US moves against his company, saying the US “underestimates” its abilities.
Speaking to Chinese state media, Mr Ren downplayed the impact of recent US curbs and said no-one could catch up to its 5G technology in the near future.
Last week the US added Huawei to a list of companies that American firms cannot trade with unless they have..

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