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Even as big tech companies such as Amazon limit their sale of facial recognition software to law enforcement, one company has not: Clearview AI, a facial recognition search engine that contains three billion images scraped from the internet. More than 3,000 U.S. law enforcement agencies employ the software, which uses an advanced algorithm to identify and match faces, the company says.
"The way it works is very similar to Google, but instead of putting in words, you're putting in photos of faces, and it will find anything publicly available on the internet that looks like that face," said Hoan Ton-That, chief executive and co-founder of the company. Police argue that facial recognition software is an important tool in fighting and solving crimes. But its increasing use has raised concerns that there are too few rules in place for when and how police can use it.
Limiting the scope of software
Police typically have image search engines at their disposal that pull drivers' license pictures or other photos among police records. Clearview AI, in contrast, has gathered billions of images from social media sites and other websites, which internet firms say were obtained by breaking their rules. Clearview AI's Ton-That says that the company only pulls publicly available information.
In one case, federal agents were able to identify a man suspected of sexual abuse of a girl using a single image from the "dark web," an area of the internet only accessible by special software and matching it through Clearview AI. "He was in the background of someone else's photo at the gym, in the mirror," said Ton-That. "They were able to identify where the gym was, identify the person, he ended up doing 35 years in jail and they saved a seven-year-old."
A tool for law enforcement
The software was also instrumental in helping federal as well as state and local law enforcement identify suspects that stormed the U.S. Capitol in January, according to Ton-That. In one way, Clearview AI, which has created its database from people's social media accounts and other public parts of the internet, was well suited to help with this massive investigation of people whose mugshots wouldn't necessarily be in police databases, he said.
Police were able to use Clearview AI, which runs about a second per search, he said, and find matching photos online of some suspects. "So they were able to quickly identify them, and reduce a lot of false-positives, and also speed up the investigative process," he said.
What about privacy?
When police violence protests swept the U.S. last year, Amazon and other tech firms suspended sales of their facial recognition technology to law enforcement, a suspension they have said is indefinite. Clearview AI continues to sell to law enforcement, and internet firms such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter as well as civil rights advocates are raising the alarm about its power and potential abuse of people's privacy.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has sued the company in Chicago and California. Kate Ruane, senior legislative counsel for the ACLU, said that facial recognition technology raises the specter of the government "being able to surveil us throughout every single aspect of our lives." Federal, state, and local governments, she says, "do admit that they use it, but they don't tell us how, when or how often." There needs to be oversight and regulation, she said, but until then, she is calling for a total moratorium on law enforcement use of facial recognition technology.
Legislation & regulation
In recent months, congressional leaders have introduced bills that would limit police use of purchased data that was "illegally obtained" via deception or breach of contract. Clearview's Ton-That agrees that there needs to be more transparency and even regulation around the technology's use. But as for banning police use of Clearview?
"Given the success of our technology in solving crimes, especially crimes against children, it would be counterproductive and inappropriate to enact a moratorium or ban of facial recognition or Clearview AI's product," he said. Ton-That has a code of conduct for customers and has built-in prompts in its software to help law enforcement customers prevent the software's misuse.
Repressive governments' use of facial recognition tech
The ACLU and other civil rights groups are also concerned about the implications of this technology in the hands of repressive governments like China. "Because the implications are terrifying," said the ACLU's Kate Ruane, "especially what is going on in China, where it is trying to track citizens across every single aspect of their lives."
Ton-That says his company does not sell its software to foreign governments and is focusing for now on law enforcement in the U.S. "We've worked occasionally with some other private entities for investigative purposes, but we've decided just to focus on law enforcement," he said. "It's the easiest, most explainable, and best use case of our technology." (VOA/JC)
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. Not only do fans love Amitabh Bachchan's outstanding performance, but the actor's heartwarming words are also highly regarded. A much moved Amitabh Bachchan, during his speech to the crowd of over 80,000 people at the Reliance Industries' annual event, said that the legacy left by Dhirubhai has had a positive impact on millions of people's lives worldwide.
When Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan became bankrupt in the late 1990s, Dhirubhai Ambani stepped forward to give him financial assistance. In his speech, Bachchan remembered that Dhirubhai had sent Anil Ambani to offer him financial assistance during the crisis, which he had respectfully declined. Lenders began knocking on his door, losses mounted, and his bank account dwindled to nothing. He said, "Dhirubhai's money might have gotten me out of the problem quickly. However, I respectfully declined his offer and gradually began to find work again, which let me pay off my debt."
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. | Flickr
Later, after Bachchan had recovered from the bankruptcy, one day he was invited to an event at Dhirubhai's residence; Bachchan added, "Dhirubhai was standing and having a chat with his industrialist friends when he saw me there, he called me, firstly I felt shy even to present myself in front of such big industrialists but then, I went there, and Dhirubhai declared in front of all of them that 'This young man had fallen but managed to get back up on his own, I have a lot of respect for him because of that.' Those words of his were worth much more to me than any amount of money that he could have offered me."
It was the "Reliance Family Day" event and was attended by members of the Ambani family from all generations. The event commemorated the company's 40-year journey since its inception. It also celebrated the 85th birthday of the late Dhirubhai Ambani, RILs (Reliance Industries Limited) founder.
Keywords: Bollywood, Reliance, Amitabh Bachchan, Dhirubhai Ambani, event
In comparison to adults, children are prone to getting traumatized by troubling events easily, and this makes it important for parents to help their children when the times are tough. It could be a brutal accident, an unprecedented pandemic, a violent crime, or other disasters but with the right parental support, children have a higher chance of coming out stronger from an awful situation.
Anuja Kapur, Psychologist shares few tips wherein you can assist your child when tough times comes calling:
Every child responds differently to disturbing events: What children feel about a current disaster in their life and how they react to it can come and go in waves. Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. There's no absolute "right" or "wrong" way to feel after a traumatic event so make sure not to dictate what your child or how your child should feel and react to the event.
Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. | Photo by Kat J on Unsplash
Encourage your child to be transparent: Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. The unpleasantness will pass if your child opens up about it and that the phase is temporary. While many teens may be reluctant to talk about their feelings with a parent, encourage them to confide in another trusted adult such as a family friend, relative, or a counselor and teacher. It's important to talkeeven if it's not with you.
Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. | Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash
Deter your child from reliving the disturbing event: Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. However, to negate such things from happening encourage activities that keep your child's mind occupied so they're not obsessive about the event. You could encourage your children to read, play games together, or simply watch an uplifting movie.
Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. | Photo by Юлія Дубина on Unsplash
Cocoon your child with warmth: In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. Teens may try to be tough through it and avoid being held, but they still need the proximity.
In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. | Photo by adrianna geo on Unsplash
Maintain routines. Establishing a predictable structure and schedule for your child's life can help to make the world seem more stable again. Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. Make sure your child accommodates time and space for rest, play, and fun. Keeping up with a schedule can help countercheck the obnoxious feeling of stress and worry in children about the future being dark, hopeless, and unpredictable.
Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. | Photo by Paico Oficial on Unsplash
Acknowledge and validate your child's concerns. The disastrous events in life may give place to unrelated fright and concerns in your child. However, understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child. If at any point the child blames himself for the event make sure to make it clear and crisp the event was not their fault, you love them, and it's okay for them to feel upset, angry, or scared but not guilty.
Understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash
Irrespective of the age of your child, it is vital for parents to offer that extra support and assistance following an unsettling event. The traumatic event may bring up unrelated fears and issues in your child. However, by accepting their thoughts and replacing their fear with your love and direction, the ominous feelings will start to fade away. Eventually, the child will be able to return to a normal and healthy life. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Kids, Help, stress, cope, routine, warmth, understanding, encourage, psychology, children
The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), has announced plans for smartphone and other electronics manufacturers to fit a common USB-C charging port on their devices in an effort to reduce waste. In addition to phones, the rules will apply to other devices like tablets, headphones, portable speakers, videogame consoles, and cameras, reports The Verge. The decision will have a huge impact on Apple, as the company still uses its own Lightning connector to charge iPhones. The proposals only cover devices using wired, not wireless and a USB-C port is only mandatory for devices that charge using a cable.
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices | Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that," the report quoted EU commissioner Thierry Breton as saying.
The Commission also wants to unbundle the sale of chargers from the sale of electronic devices, which it says will improve the consumers' convenience. "With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics - an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste." In addition, the Commission will require manufacturers to provide relevant information about charging performance. (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Electronic Devices, Chargers, Cable, smartphone, Adapters, Charging Cord