Monday, May 20, 2019

Freedom From Unwarranted Search.

If your home is your castle then what is your face?

Back in the early 2000’s there was an attendee at Fantasia Fair who was worried about having her picture taken she said that there was programs that can identify your face… I thought she was paranoid but it turned out she was just ahead of her time.
San Francisco's facial recognition ban is just the beginning of a national battle over the technology
“Our traditional secrecy and lack of transparency has probably come back to haunt us,” the president of the National Police Foundation said.
NBC News
By Jon Schuppe
May 20, 2019

Police say facial recognition is “essential” and “imperative” — a groundbreaking tool that allows them to track down criminals who would otherwise escape justice.

Opponents say the technology is “nefarious” and “dangerous” — an omen of repressive government surveillance.

The two sides are engaged in an escalating battle over public opinion that will reach a turning point this week, when San Francisco is expected to become the first city in the country to adopt a ban on government use of facial recognition.
The proposed bans have injected new momentum into a campaign by civil rights advocates, defense lawyers and artificial intelligence researchers to expose the flaws of facial recognition to lawmakers and the public. Linking the fight with a broader public backlash against the government and tech firms’ use of private data, the opponents have documented how algorithms that drive the systems are prone to misidentifying people with dark skin. Last week, researchers at Georgetown Law School released reports outlining police abuses of facial recognition and the ability of some big-city departments to use surveillance camera networks to identify people in public spaces in real time. On Wednesday, Amazon shareholders will consider proposals, pushed by activist investors, aimed at curtailing the company’s selling of its facial recognition to the government.
So what does this have to do with trans issues?

A police car drives by a support group meeting parking lot and records every license plate in the parking lot. You drive through an intersection on your way to a support group meeting and BINGO your license plate is recorded

A CCTV camera records every face of the members going to into the building and matches the faces their faces.

Suppose you are going through one of those electronic tolls that reads your license plate it also records and stores the direction and time your plate went through the toll gantry.

You say “I don’t care I’m not doing anything wrong so why should I care?”


A new president is elected on an anti-trans platform to rid the world of “those perverts” and new laws are passed or old ones resurrected making it illegal to dress in clothes of the opposite gender… you must have three items of clothing on of your birth gender.

Homeland Security goes back and searches all the recordings that have been kept on file and begins arresting trans people on morals charges.


What do you think?

Right now there are no laws against the length of time all those license plate reading can be stored and who they can be shared with. The same thing with the videos and did you know that many businesses share in real time their video feeds with the police? And to top it off, they don’t need a warrant and there is no limit on the length of time the information can be stored.

About three or four years ago I noticed those little black boxes mounted on the trunks and roofs of police cars and I was curious as what they were… so I googled them.
Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs)
Electronic Freedom Foundation

Automated license plate readers (ALPRs) are high-speed, computer-controlled camera systems that are typically mounted on street poles, streetlights, highway overpasses, mobile trailers, or attached to police squad cars. ALPRs automatically capture all license plate numbers that come into view, along with the location, date, and time. The data, which includes photographs of the vehicle and sometimes its driver and passengers, is then uploaded to a central server.

Vendors say that the information collected can be used by police to find out where a plate has been in the past, to determine whether a vehicle was at the scene of a crime, to identify travel patterns, and even to discover vehicles that may be associated with each other. Law enforcement agencies can choose to share their information with thousands of other agencies.
These are installed in a fixed location, such as a traffic light, a telephone pole, the entrance of a facility, or a freeway exit ramp. These cameras generally capture only vehicles in motion that pass within view.

If multiple stationary ALPR cameras are installed along a single thoroughfare, the data can reveal what direction and what speed a car is traveling. If the data are stored over time, they can reveal every time a particular plate has passed a given location, allowing the government to infer that the driver likely lives or works close by.
People are worried about being track online but this is even worst, you are being tracked in real time and then the information is kept forever because there are no laws preventing it. In addition there are no laws preventing who they share the data with.

The NBC article goes on to say…
Opponents of facial recognition believe they have built a model to fight the technology. It is rooted in a movement that began six years ago in Oakland, California, in response to discovery of the city’s plans to create a massive surveillance network of video cameras, gunshot detectors and license plate readers. The plan was scrapped amid a public backlash, and led to the creation of a privacy commission that backed the passage of a local law requiring the city to submit for public scrutiny any purchase of surveillance equipment. Oakland now has a pending amendment to that law that would ban the city government from using facial recognition.
Hartford already has all that in place, they share video feeds from businesses, license plate readers and gunshot detectors. I was in the green room for a Sunday morning talk show waiting for my turn and sitting next to me was the aide to the chief of police when his phone buzzed… it was a text message saying shots were detected at a street corner.

The EFF article said that…
ALPR Databases
Most of this ALPR data is stored in databases for extended periods of time—often as much as five years. The databases may be maintained by the police departments, but often they are maintained by private companies such as Vigilant Technologies. Law enforcement agencies without their own ALPR systems can access data collected by other law enforcement agencies through regional sharing systems and networks operated by these private companies. Several companies operate independent, non-law enforcement ALPR databases, contracting with drivers to put cameras on private vehicles to collect the information. These data are then sold to companies like insurers, but law enforcement can also purchase access to this commercial data on a subscription basis.
What Kinds of Data ALPRs Collect
ALPRs collect license plate numbers and location data along with the exact date and time the license plate was encountered. Some systems are able to capture make and model of the vehicle. They can collect thousands of plates per minute. One vendor brags that its dataset includes more than 6.5 billion scans and grows at a rate of 120-million data points each month.

So what can be done to prevent trans people from being “outed?”

A couple of years ago I had lunch with the head of the Connecticut ACLU and we were talking about legislative priorities and this topic came up and it is on their radar.

Yes,  the monitoring network can have it legitimate uses and they should not be curtailed but guidelines need to be established on the storage and use of the data.
  • No data can be stored by private companies the data must be stored by the police departments or the Department of Transportation and with limited controlled accesses
  • Control of who can see the data and no release of data without a search warrant.
  • Control of who can see the raw data. Maybe the highway department can only see the traffic data, etc.
  • Control of the length of time the scans can be stored… 90 days, 6 months, a year; I don’t care about the actual length of time as long as there is a limit.

All we have to do is look at China to see how this can be abused by a government.
This Chinese facial recognition start-up can identify a person in seconds
By Amanda Lentino
May 16 2019

  • China plans to be the global leader in artificial intelligence by 2030, a market where the facial recognition piece alone is expected to garner $9.6 billion by 2022.
  • China’s facial recognition database includes nearly every one of China’s 1.4 billion citizens.
  • Shanghai-based YITU Technology has gained wide recognition for its facial scan platform that can identify a person from a database of at least 2 billion people in a matter of seconds.
In China, facial recognition technology — biometric computer applications that automatically identify an individual from a database of digital images — is a part of daily life.
They are already using the system to determine a person’s “social credit”

This is a trans issues… as a marginalized population we are ripe for blackmail, hate crimes, violence, and discrimination.

Update 1:30 PM

I just watched this video… imagine if a government like Egypt or Russian or the Trump administration used facial recognition to track down LGBT people

A couple of years ago was the first time that I heard about the Rainbow Railroad, it was at a the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) conference in Vermont that I was invited to talk about trans rights and the topic shifted to smuggling LGBTQ people out of Uganda.

I am going to be posting only once a day for now on, it seems like that all there is, is negative news stores and I want my blog to be more than that, I want to be informative on issues like this post.

So for now I will be posting once a day.

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