2x55: Moaner Lisa

Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which the Mona Lisa is bobbins, it is important to have your privacy policy meet the overall goals you’re pushing, and:

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A few points to pick up on here.

Facial Recognition

We can never un-invent technology so it is going to stay but it does need regulation.
If I can unlock my phone just by looking at it then this seems a reasonable use provided the data is in my phone only and it isn’t calling back to some database to say who is this, and should I let them use this phone.

Governments, in theory, work for us and while I don’t believe there is any justification for mass tracking there may be a justification for limited use. For example if you are guilty of committing violence at a sports game then there may be a case for having cameras at sports grounds at the entrance to check if a known offender is trying to gain entry. The system used must however fail to recognize anybody else and any images of non-offenders deleted quickly. Say straight after the game assuming there are no violent events during it.

We have a system of courts so we should be able to police this with only individuals convicted of a relevant offense appearing on the database and not everybody the police had course to know. For example a theft or motoring offense should not be sufficient to get you added to the list.

Similar arguments apply in airports, we may want to identify people who are barred from travel as they may be using fake ID.

My brother works in my local town supplementing security, and otherwise assisting the local businesses while helping visitors to the town. He keeps a eye out for suspicious activity and those known to have antisocial or criminal history. Informing local businesses and the police as necessary. As far as I am aware the local CCTV does not use facial recognition software, I have been assured it doesn’t, but it is monitored by a person and both my brother and the CCTV operator will notify each other when something or somebody of concern is spotted.

I have an history of political activism, and while it has always been peaceful, I am known to the police. A few years ago I was on a march protesting the governments policies. On a tablet one police officer was carrying their was a picture of my face together with my name.
I should stress two things here: (1) I was by no means the only face - there were 6 on each screen and the officer could swipe left or right for more images. (2) I have never been convicted of any crime, and have no history of violence, but I have been detained during several protests. Would this be a fair use of facial recognition software? I don’t know if any was being used or somebody just recognized me from an earlier event.

I am less comfortable with companies having access to this technology. @sil 's example of music concerts being one idea. I decide to go and see a band, I am filmed collecting my ticket for example. The organizers know who I am as the ticket is tied to my credit card. I expect the organizers to try and sell me tickets to other concerts I may be interested in, though I may not like it, based on my buying history.

Time goes by and I am seen at lets say an equestrian event. I bought the tickets through a different agent so the organizers of the original event have no idea about this. However, the event is televised at a later date and I appear on TV in the crowd briefly. This could be used to target me for totally different types of event.

It does not even have to be facial recognition in some cases. Lets say a company has access to the car registration database and car park footage from several venues. This could tie me to, at least very likely, being present at a particular place and time which could again be used for targeted advertising at least if not something more suspicious.

Android and Bluetooth

I don’t think forcing users to accept geolocation to use Bluetooth is acceptable. There is no justification. I think this is a matter of wording Android could simply say to anyone with Bluetooth enabled and not agreeing to location data

We will not pass on any data regarding your location but when connected to Bluetooth the network may be able to find your location.

DeepNude

I am interested here: does the image depend on what clothes a girl is wearing when photographed? Some clothes are more revealing, at least to my eye, than others. I fully agree that this is a gross invasion of a girls privacy and have no intention of downloading the software to find out.

Thanks for discussing the question I posted. Feel it might have been better to email to fully expand on the point. The trigger point was @sil asking why people used slack rather than discord. (https://twitter.com/sil/status/1146171105947901957?s=21)

This got me wondering, why does someone use X instead of Y. Everyone would have their own requirements, cost might be the main driver, collaborative working or scalability. Do people end up using X instead of Y because everyone else uses X and they don’t realise that Y might be better?

It wasn’t that long ago when IE was the market leader. I would argue alternatives were objectively better. In this setting, we could make objective assessments as you could look at things like standards compliance, rendering speed and security. Core components of what the product should be doing. Individuals might still have extra criteria to assess the suitability of the software but I think we could agree on what something should be able to do and how well it does.

Using the music examples from quoted in the show, Pro-tools, Cubase and Audacity. I think you could objectively assess things like file format support, number of plugins available, export options, the various elements of what the program should be able to do. There will still be subjective elements like value for money, ease of use, minimum hardware requirements. I think these subjective elements drive some people to use audacity as it is better for them rather than being the best.

If someone writes the “perfect” music player, could it became the market leader or are people happy using iTunes/rhythm box/amarok/ because the effort/“cost” to change outweighs the benefits of the new program.

Realise a music player might be a poor choice considering the streaming world we now live in.

Why do you use what you use? Is it because it was the default? It came with it pre-installed? Work use it? Other people use it? Or you researched the alternatives?

You only have to enable geolocation if you want to use Bluetooth Low Energy. The reasoning being that there are BLE beacons which can be used to track people, and by making you turn on geolocation they force people to become aware that their location could now be known.

Which made sense until wearables became a thing. You have to keep geolocation turned on all the time or your fitness tracker won’t sync, which means all other apps also have access to geolocation all the time. That’s why I only sync my FitBit every two days or so.

For believable results you need very revealing pictures. Swim wear obviously works best.

IMO the existence of DeepNude is a good thing. It completely devalues all nude imagery. Even if your real nudies leak you can now pull a Trump, shout “Fake Nudes!” and public opinion will at least be divided. I wonder if lawyers are already working DeepNude into their defenses?

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That is a good thought, @WarrenHill, but more and more, government thinks we are grist for their mill. Politicians in the US, in the UK, and in the EU all believe that the People are an infinite source of financing for whatever harebrained schemes their members come up with.

The problem with that is that the courts actually do not seem to be interested in upholding the law, but rather they seem to be doing everything but their jobs. I can’t speak for the UK or EU, but here in the US, we have seen the following:

  • Obstructing the rights of the duly elected, sitting, President of the United States. Like him or not, he was duly elected by the laws of this country. Think what would have happened if they treated Obama in the same way.
  • The FISA court is turning out to have been a rubber stamp for whatever police or intelligence organizations wanted to do.

But police organizations are addicted to surveillance. Even in small towns, I see police cars with license plate readers on their cars. Why do they need to read my plate as I am driving down the street? They are also using EZPass readers for surveillance. New York City has 9 toll locations, yet they had, as of 2014, over 100 EZPass readers that were not near the toll booths. In fact, LAPD is using Palantir to try to run Minority Report-style pre-crime surveillance. They are using Stingray fake cell towers to cast a wide net on eavesdropping on mobile calls, many times without a warrant (“oops…We just left it on”) on the presumption of guilt. Personally, I believe facial recognition is the next step, once they nail it.

I agree wholeheartedly. I don’t trust companies with that kind of data. In the medical field that is called Personally Identifiable Information (PII). These companies do not have the same protections in place. Look at how they treat the data from the online speakers that record everything in the room, and then phone it home. Amazon sends it to some random couple in Seattle… Google has employees listening in and snarking over peoples’ conversations. What would they do with facial recognition?

The opposite side of that coin is the machine learning sites that generate faces on the fly, like https://www.thispersondoesnotexist.com/ Every reload of the site gives a different AI-generated face. How hard would it be to set up a fake facebook/twitter/linkedin/whatever profile with a fake face? Edit: Sorry, wrote this before I finished listening to the episode, and hadn’t gotten to the DeepNude discussion.

Maybe I’m just turning into an old curmudgeon…Maybe I should turn off all the computers and just live in a cave and wait for our machine overlords… :smiley:

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