The New Yorker – As cities become ever more packed with cameras that always see, public anonymity could disappear. Can stealth streetwear evade electronic eyes? By John Seabrook: “…Advances in computer vision have occurred so rapidly that local and national privacy policies—what aspects of your face and body should be protected by law from surveillance machines—are lagging far behind A.I.’s technological capabilities, leaving the public vulnerable to a modern panopticon, a total-surveillance society that could be built before we know enough to stop it. Chris Meserole, a foreign-policy fellow at the Brookings Institution who studies China’s use of face recognition and other surveillance technologies—widely deployed as part of Xi Jinping’s “stability maintenance” drive—told me that policymakers in the States haven’t, so far, created governing structures to safeguard citizens. And, he added, “in the U.S., the government hasn’t thought to use it yet the way that China has.”
..If the government were to demand pictures of citizens in a variety of poses, against different backdrops, indoors and outdoors, how many Americans would readily comply? But we are already building databases of ourselves, one selfie at a time. Online images of us, our children, and our friends, often helpfully labelled with first names, which we’ve posted to photo-sharing sites like Flickr, have ended up in data sets used to train face-recognition systems. In at least two cases, face-recognition companies have strong connections to photo-management apps. EverRoll, a photo-management app, became Ever AI (now Paravision), and Orbeus, a face-recognition company that was acquired by Amazon, once offered a consumer photo app. And even when our images are supposedly protected on social-media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, how secure are they?
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