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TECHNOLOGY REPORT - Privacy Concerns Over Facial Recognition Systems

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This is the VOA Special English Technology Report.

Today we take another look at facial recognition systems. These can tag friends in Facebook photos or help police identify suspects in the recent riots in Britain.

Kurt Roemer is chief security strategist for Citrix Systems in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He says technology makes it easier than ever for governments to identify people.

KURT ROEMER: "Governments can go through and identify, profile and target people, basically in any order. And it is very much a fine line between effective law enforcement and privacy." :10

Kristene Unsworth researches information policy at Drexel College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She says she is concerned that governments and police are increasingly using facial recognition software without clearly defined policies.

KRISTENE UNSWORTH: "There is so much secrecy around this information that we don't really know how these kind of images or other sorts of personal data points are being used, how long the information is being retained. All of those kinds of things. So I guess for me it is an issue of transparency and dialogue."

Questions like these are part of a larger debate about privacy and free speech. After the riots, British Prime Minister David Cameron raised the possibility of interfering with social networks. He said the question was whether it would be right to stop people from communicating "when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality."

China's official news agency Xinhua says the British government has "recognized that a balance needs to be struck between freedom and the monitoring of social media tools." Xinhua added, "We may wonder why western leaders, on the one hand, tend to indiscriminately accuse other nations of monitoring, but on the other take for granted their steps to monitor and control the Internet."

Europe has some of the world's strongest policies on privacy rights. But Kurt Roemer says, like other western governments, they have not clearly defined their policies on new technologies.

KURT ROEMER: "China calling that out really shows that we have some issues to address here from a policy perspective, in addition to technology."

One debate involves an action in San Francisco on August eleventh by the Bay Area Rapid Transit system. BART disabled wireless service in some of its underground stations for three hours. It says protesters were planning to use mobile devices to organize activities to disrupt train service. BART has faced protests over what activists say is police abuse by transit officers.

BART says it acted to protect public safety. The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California says the decision was in effect an effort by a government agency "to silence its critics." The Federal Communications Commission says it is collecting information about BART's actions.

And that's the VOA Special English Technology Report, written by June Simms. You can find part one of our report on facial recognition systems at www.unsv.com.  I'm Steve Ember.

网友的学习评论(10条):
作者:Ms.Lonely
坚持 ONE DAY ONE VOA
作者:凯恩
Before, I thought that many things of mine only belong to me, or only a few people that I know. But, when I walk into society began to work, I discovered that there are so many things that are not my own. In the the holy land of China, a group of more sacred rulers, they protect the position of themselves by using the right to control social media tools to monitor everyone. And then, if you have done what makes them uncomfortable, they would use all the intimidation you know.
作者:凯恩
In fact, in this kind of balance, the most afraid of fear people is their own, they are afraid of the people to expousure what they have done, but how long can the authoritarian regime last? Libya's war has given us an answer, believe each of the oppressed people also got the answer.
作者:lvjiaying1984
Today I would like to say something about the circumstance of China's privacy, involving with some information about some industrialized nations, like Britain. I heard from the TV that a newspaper office had been stealing the information from the mobile phones of the British people for quite a long time. In order to sell more copies of the newspapers, the newspaper office stole information from the people's dialogue carried out through mobile phones.
作者:lvjiaying1984
Although the top people at the newspaper office have been outlawed, it is far more important to prevent this kind of things from happening in the future in the similar way. And as for China, the condition about the private information despoiled by many Internet service providers and millions of advertisement companies is quite harsh. Take me as an example. Several months ago, I signed in a website as a member because I wanted to see further information about the products they sold on the
作者:lvjiaying1984
website. I didn't care much about giving them the correct number of my mobile phone and my true name, thinking that anyone else would not know the information about myself. However, several days after I signed in the website, I received telephones time after time, asking me to pay more attention to things they sold on the Internet. Because the products they sold on the Internet are more expensive and inferior, I decided to cancelled the information on the website,
作者:lvjiaying1984
but I found it was impossible to achieve this. Besides I found it impossible to change the number of my mobile phone, wanting to create a wrong number which they couldn't have access to. I had thought that the information I provided would not be known to anybody except myself, but that is where the problem was. I was interrupted time after time because of the right number of my mobile phone I created in the table where they asked me to fill in the information. Besides this,
作者:lvjiaying1984
there are a lot of websites selling monitoring devices through the Internet. They said they could locate the person with the mobile phone by a kind of software, simply providing the number of the mobile phone. This was meant to be a serious article, but what I can see is it is quite popular with people whose husbands are successful businessmen or famous politicians and people like the above, because they wanted to know exactly where their husbands were and what they were doing.
作者:eric
it is truly a problme we have to meet. because technologies will change society and us, it not only bring us something good but also something uncontrolled. it will influnence some industry and some company like facebook. facebook have to think some ways to handle.
作者:snowwolfljb
The world is suffering international and social unrest. there isn't any solution except war and revolution
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