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Facial Recognition Tech: 4 Things You Must Know

Updated June 18

On May 22 and June 4, Congress held hearings on facial recognition technology. The Congressional hearings examine the use of facial recognition technology by federal, state, and local government agencies, corporations and social media companies. Specifically, lawmakers address privacy and civil rights concerns.

Facial Recognition Tech: 4 Things You Must Know

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Click here to watch the Hearing on C-SPAN
  1. Facial recognition technology programs cannot accurately identify people of color and women.
  2. Facial recognition technology is not regulated by government.
  3. Law enforcement agencies and corporations use facial recognition technology without our consent.
  4. Facial recognition technology contributes to employment discrimination — against people over the age of 40, women and minorities — and to disparities in health insurance premiums.

All information provided is verifiable, for example: the videos and resources provided (and the sources cited in the resources provided) confirm all statements.

Facial Recognition Technology Resources

  1. Read Written Testimony: [United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Re: Facial Recognition Technology (Part 1) – Its Impact on our Civil Rights and Liberties by Joy Buolamwini, Founder, Algorithmic Justice League]
  2. Read Written Testimony: [United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Re: Facial Recognition Technology (Part 1) – Its Impact on our Civil Rights and Liberties by Professor Andrew Guthrie Ferguson, University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law]
  3. Read Written Testimony: [United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Re: Facial Recognition Technology (Part 1) – Its Impact on our Civil Rights and Liberties by Dr. Cedric Alexander, Former President, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives]
  4. Read Written Testimony: [United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Re: Facial Recognition Technology (Part 1) – Its Impact on our Civil Rights and Liberties Ms. Clare Garvie , Senior Associate, Georgetown University Law Center, Center on Privacy & Technology]
  5. Read Written Testimony: [United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Re: Facial Recognition Technology (Part 1) – Its Impact on our Civil Rights and Liberties by Ms. Neema Singh Guliani, Senior Legislative Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union]

Video Resources: Facial Recognition Tech

  1. Watch Video: [ by United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Re: Facial Recognition Technology (Part 1) Its Impact on our Civil rights and Liberties on YouTube]
  2. Watch Video on C-SPAN: [The House Oversight and Reform Committee held a hearing to examine the use of facial recognition technology (Part 2) by the government and commercial entities and its impact on civil rights and liberties. Witnesses discussed the flaws in the technology, including programs that could not accurately identify people of color and women. Other concerns raised were the lack of regulation and oversight in the technology, how law enforcement is using facial recognition, fears of racial profiling, and the privacy issues surrounding Facebook, Uber, and Amazon’s use of the technology]

About the Author

Olivia P. Walker is an award winning public affairs and administration professional. She launched O.W.B Public Affairs and writes all site content. She previously consulted for the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering and served as government affairs and public policy analyst at WellCare Health Plans.  Olivia is a fusion belly dancer and a member of the American Society for Public Affairs and Administration’s section on public law and administration.

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Watch Facebook Google Executives Testify Live on the Rise of White Nationalism Across Social Media

Watch Facebook, Google Executives Testify Live on the Rise of White Nationalism Across Social Media

Facebook, Google Executives Testify Live on the Rise of White Nationalism.  Below is a video of the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on hate crimes and the rise of White Nationalism. The following people are testifying at today’s hearing:

  • Anti-Defamation League senior VP for Policy Eileen Hershenov;
  • Facebook Public Policy director Neil Potts;
  • Equal Justice Society president Eva Paterson;
  • Google Public Policy & Government Relations counsel Alexandria Walden;
  • National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law president & executive director Kristen Clarke;
  • Zionist Organization of America President Mort Klein;
  • Dr Mohammad Abu-Salha; and
  • Turning Point USA’s Candace Owens.

Make sure to subscribe to receive a detailed analysis of the hearing.

OLIVIA P. WALKER IS A PUBLIC AFFAIRS STRATEGIST. SHE LAUNCHED O.W.B PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND CREATES ALL SITE CONTENT. PRIOR TO THESE ROLES, OLIVIA SERVED AS GOVERNANCE CONSULTANT FOR THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR PHARMACEUTICAL ENGINEERING. BEFORE THAT, SHE SERVED AS GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS AND PUBLIC POLICY ANALYST FOR WELLCARE HEALTH PLANS, A FORTUNE 500 HEALTH INSURER.

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Olivia P. Walker

OLIVIA IS A GRADUATE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS. SHE GRADUATED FROM THE MASTER OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION (MPA) PROGRAM AT THE TOP OF HER CLASS. OLIVIA WAS DULY INITIATED INTO PI ALPHA ALPHA, THE GLOBAL HONOR SOCIETY FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND ADMINISTRATION IN NOVEMBER 2016. SHE ALSO HOLDS A GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN GLOBALIZATION STUDIES. THE CERTIFICATE IS A SPECIALIZED GRADUATE-LEVEL CREDENTIAL REFLECTING KNOWLEDGE OF THE MOST UP-TO-DATE RESEARCH ON GLOBALIZATION. OLIVIA IS A MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND A MEMBER OF THE ASPA SECTION ON PUBLIC LAW AND ADMINISTRATION.


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[Read Article: Examining the Risks of Artificial Intelligence]

[Read Article: WellCare Health Plans Paid For My Silence-Legal Doc Included]

[Magazine: Read Blog]

Third-party sites and apps view private Google data

Third-Party Websites and Apps View Private Google Accounts and Google My Business User’s Private Data

To be clear, when you authorize — even unknowingly — third-party websites (sites) and applications (apps) to get access to your Google and/or Google My Business (GMB) account, they can and do access, copy, and store sensitive personal and (in some instances) proprietary data. It’s their business model after all. “Personal data” refers to information such as financial statements, medical/health records, legal documents, and genetic information. Additionally, if permitted, third-party sites and apps with access to your Google account(s) can and do view, edit, and change information in your account.

Third party websites and apps can get access to view your personal information. Click To Tweet

 Personal Data Protection Strategies

Unidentified problems can’t be solved. Meaning, risks cannot be mitigated if you don’t know they exist. Therefore, this article provides information to help you make informed decisions. The following information is from Google’s Third-party sites & apps with access to your account terms of use and privacy policy. In addition to the text below, you can get access to the document by clicking the linked text above.


Attention
Protect Yourself

Third-party sites & apps with access to your account

To help you safely share your data, Google lets you give third-party sites and apps access to different parts of your account. Third-party sites and apps are created by companies or developers that aren’t Google.

For example, you may download an app that helps you schedule workouts with friends. This app may request access to your Google Calendar and Contacts to suggest times and friends for you to meet up with.

What sites and apps can request

Sites and apps can request different kinds of access to your Google Account, including requests to:

  • See your basic profile information: Many sites and apps only request access to basic info, including your name, email address, and profile picture. You grant access to this info when you choose to “Sign in with Google” on sites and apps that have this feature. Sharing this info makes it easier to create an account and helps you avoid creating new passwords.
  • See some info in your Google Account: In addition to basic profile information, some sites and apps might also ask for permission to see and make a copy of information in your account. This may include information like your Contacts, Photos, YouTube playlists, and more.
  • Edit, upload & create content in your Google Account: In addition to seeing your basic profile and some info in your account, some sites or apps may ask for permission to do even more in your Google Account. This may include editing, uploading, or creating content. For example, a film editing app may edit your video and upload it to your YouTube channel, or an event planning app may create events on your Google Calendar, with your permission.

Full account access

If you give a site or app full account access, it can see and change nearly all information in your Google Account. Full account access means a site or app can see and copy your information, edit or delete it, or create new information. Sites or apps with full access can’t change your password, delete your account, or use Google Pay to send, request and receive money.

Tip: You can see a list of all sites and apps you’ve given account access to in your Google Account. To make it easy to manage access to all your sites and apps, Google apps are listed with third-party apps. For example, you might see that the Google Chrome app you downloaded for your Mac computer has full account access. Google keeps your data private and secure.

Sites and apps may request access to sensitive information

Depending on how you use Google products, some of the information in your account may be extra sensitive. When you give access to third-parties, they may be able to read, edit, delete, or share this private information.

Before granting access, you should read the site or app’s privacy policy to learn how they use your data and keep it safe.

Google products with especially sensitive information include:

  • Gmail: Your emails may contain sensitive information, including the names of your contacts, your private correspondence, or an attached copy of a medical report.
  • Photos: Your Google Photo albums may have photos that you’d prefer not to share, like pictures of your family or copies of official documents. In addition, many photos are automatically tagged by location and date.
  • Drive: There may be private information in Google Drive, like financial records, official reports, and presentations. In addition, if you’ve shared documents with other people, their names and contact information are also in your Google Drive.
  • Calendar: Your Google Calendar can have important information about your daily routine, as well as details about private events and appointments.
  • Contacts: Your Google Contacts can include the names, phone numbers, addresses ,and contact details of the people you know.

What to consider before giving access

  • How secure is this site or app? If the third-party app’s server is hacked, your data may be accessed by unauthorized people. When you allow third-party apps to access your Google Account, they can copy and save your data on their own servers. Because Google can’t protect the data on another company’s servers, your data may be subject to greater data security and privacy risks.
  • How will this site or app use my data? The data may be used by the app in ways that are not obvious, such as being shared with others.
  • Can I delete my data from this site or app? Depending on the app, you may not be able to quickly or automatically delete your data from their servers. It may also be difficult to delete the account you created on the app.
  • Will this site or app tell me if something changes? The site or app may not directly notify you if it changes its policies and practices.
  • Who else can see my data on this site or app? Some third parties may have individuals who look at your Google Account information, including emails you write or your contacts.

Remove site or app access

If you gave account access to a site or app you no longer trust, you can remove its access to your Google Account. The site or app won’t be able to access any more info from your Google Account, but you may need to request that they delete the data they already have.

  1. Open the Apps with access to your account section of your Google Account. You might need to sign in.
  2. Choose the site or app you want to remove.
  3. Choose Remove Access.

Report a site or app

If you believe a site or app is misusing your data, like creating spam, impersonating you or using your data in harmful ways, you can file a report.


 

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Examining the Risks of Artificial Intelligence

Technological advances have changed the way people work, consume information, and live. Innovations in technology gave impetus to Artificial Intelligence (AI). In recent years, AI has generated controversy. Proponents cite AI’s track record of improving operational efficiency, enhancing target identification efforts, and  increasing productivity through automation and big data analytics. Conversely, AI opponents blame automation for fueling unemployment and rising inequality; some have even suggested AI is a threat to humanity. AI is not a threat to humanity; the algorithms and programmers’ methods for developing AI technology and the government’s inability to regulate AI are threats to humanity.

AI is not a threat to humanity. The algorithms and programmers’ methods for developing AI technology, and the government’s inability to regulate AI are threats to humanity .

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence refers to computational systems and programming models that enable machines to acquire and apply knowledge in a way before exclusive to humans.

The Risks of Artificial Intelligence

AI is under-regulated. Accordingly, human bias, Heuristic programming, algorithmic bias, and the government’s inability to keep pace with technological innovations, a prerequisite to meaningful legislation and regulation,  are threats to humanity, not AI. AI is as ‘intelligent’ and ethical as the programmers developing it — and the government actors responsible for its oversight. Meaning, the extent to which AI poses a threat to humanity is dependent upon human behavior during the research, development, and evaluation phases of AI technology.

Examining Risks of Artificial intelligence post. AI is a risk for women, minorities, and job seekers.
AI is a risk for the poor, women, minorities and job seekers.

Risk Mitigation and the Government’s Role 

While strategies to mitigate algorithmic bias are available, they are rarely used. As published by the MIT Technology Review, research indicates “that crucial stakeholders, including the companies that develop and apply machine learning systems and government regulators, show little interest in monitoring and limiting algorithmic bias.” This is problematic. This is problematic because:

  • Employers, courts, banks, insurance companies, immigration professionals, police officers, and educational institutions use AI technology;
  • In these instances, AI technology determines  parole eligibility, credit worthiness, insurance premiums, teacher quality, and to make hiring decisions;
  • AI is increasingly identified  as prejudicial with regard to job seekers over the age of 40 years old, people of color, and the poor.

Suggestions for Readers

First, I recommend you conduct a Google search on AI bias. You will find many ways in which AI technology might be harmful.  Second, visit CSPAN. You can find and watch Congressional hearings focused on AI there. To be clear, there are societal benefits associated with AI technology. Nevertheless, the risks of AI cannot be ignored.

Recommendations

Industry and government must work together to create:

  • Strategies to mitigate bias and assure integrity in AI development processes;
  • AI program monitoring and evaluation techniques; and
  • Meaningful and effective legislation and regulation (within reason).
AI is not a threat to humanity. The algorithms and programmers’ methods for developing AI technology, and the government’s inability to regulate AI are threats to humanity

Proponents of AI cite its track record of improving operational efficiency, enhancing target identification efforts, and increasing productivity through automation and big data analytics. Conversely, AI opponents blame automation for fueling unemployment and rising inequality; some have even suggested AI is a threat to humanity. AI is not a threat to humanity. The algorithms and programmers’ methods for developing AI technology and the government’s inability to regulate AI are threats to humanity.

Importantly, the extent to which AI poses a threat to humanity is dependent upon human behavior during the research, development, and evaluation phases of AI technology. To be sure, there are societal benefits associated with AI technology. Nevertheless, the risks of AI cannot be ignored. Industry and government must work together to mitigate the risks associated with AI.

About the Author

O.W.B Public Affairs Digest Home Image Meet Olivia P. WalkerOlivia P. Walker is a public affairs strategist, campaign consultant, and writer. Most recently, Olivia served as governance consultant for the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering and worked as government affairs and public policy analyst for WellCare Health Plans, a Fortune 500 health insurer. Olivia holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of South Florida School of Public Affairs. In 2016, Olivia was duly initiated into Pi Alpha Alpha, the Global Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration. She is a member of the American Society for Public Administration and a member of the ASPA Section on Public Law and Administration. Olivia also holds a Graduate Certificate in Globalization Studies. The certificate is a specialized graduate-level credential reflecting knowledge of the most up-to-date research on globalization.


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