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London mayor quizzes King’s Cross developer on facial recognition

London mayor quizzes King’s Cross developer on facial recognition

Technology
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has written to the King's Cross Central development asking for reassurance its use of facial-recognition technology is legal.Argent, the developer of the 67-acre (0.3-sq-km) site, has said facial recognition is being used to "ensure public safety".But Mr Khan wrote there was "serious and widespread concern" about the legality of facial-recognition cameras.And he has called for new laws to clarify how the technology can be used.Argent has declined to say how long the facial recognition cameras have been in operation, what the legal basis is for their use, or what systems it has in place to protect the data it collects. A spokeswoman for Argent h...
Biostar security software ‘leaked a million fingerprints’

Biostar security software ‘leaked a million fingerprints’

Technology
More than a million fingerprints and other sensitive data have been exposed online by a biometric security firm, researchers say.Researchers working with cyber-security firm VPNMentor say they accessed data from a security tool called Biostar 2.It is used by thousands of companies worldwide, including the UK's Metropolitan Police, to control access to specific parts of secure facilities.Suprema, the firm that offers Biostar 2, said it was addressing the issue."If there has been any definite threat on our products and/or services, we will take immediate actions and make appropriate announcements to protect our customers' valuable businesses and assets," a company spokesman told the Guardian.According to VPNMentor, the exposed data...
Facebook workers listened to Messenger conversations

Facebook workers listened to Messenger conversations

Technology
Hundreds of workers were paid to transcribe voice recordings of Facebook users, it has emerged.Facebook is the latest company to confirm it has used third-party workers to do such work, following Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon.The practice had been halted "more than a week ago", Facebook said.Workers were given audio of people's conversations but were not told how it was obtained, according to Bloomberg, which was first to report the news.Facebook said the recordings were being transcribed manually so that artificial intelligence systems used to automatically transcribe conversations could be improved.It added this had been done only when users had opted in to transcription services and given permission for microphone access...
Facial recognition in King’s Cross prompts call for new laws

Facial recognition in King’s Cross prompts call for new laws

Technology
There is growing pressure for more details about the use of facial recognition in London's King's Cross to be disclosed after a watchdog described the deployment as "alarming".Developer Argent has confirmed it uses the technology to "ensure public safety" but did not reveal any details.It raises the issue of how private land used by the public is monitored.The UK's biometrics commissioner said the government needed to update the laws surrounding the technology.Argent is responsible for a 67-acre site close to King's Cross station. While the land is privately owned, it is widely used by the public and is home to a number of shops, cafes and restaurants, as well as considerable office space with tenants including Google and Central Saint Martins College.The...
Hands-free mobiles should be banned while driving, say MPs

Hands-free mobiles should be banned while driving, say MPs

Technology
Hands-free mobile phones should be banned while driving, MPs have said.Using hand-held phones while driving is already banned, with a maximum punishment of six penalty points and a £200 fine - up from three points and £100. But MPs in the Commons transport select committee say hands-free versions can be just as dangerous.The committee said that the law gives the "misleading impression" that hands-free mobiles are safe while driving, despite them creating "the same risks of a collision".The cross-party committee admitted criminalising hands-free phone use and enforcing the ban would be challenging, but added: "This does not mean that we should not do it". Advertisement The government should explore options a