Category Archives: surveillance

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

We rushed to the internet expecting empowerment, the democratization of knowledge, and help with real problems, but surveillance capitalism really was just too lucrative to resist. This economic logic has now spread beyond the tech companies to new surveillance–based ecosystems in virtually every economic sector, from insurance to automobiles to health, education, finance, to every product described as “smart” and every service described as “personalized.” Read more (Harvard Gazette)

Biometric Checkout Comes to Hotel Convenience Store

Koyo Group teamed with checkout-free tech provider Zippin and Fujitsu in the development of the Green Leaves + store, which is located within the Yokohama Techno Tower Hotel. Shoppers can enter the store, which sells prepackaged food and beverages and fresh bento box meals, via a QR code in a smartphone app once they’ve entered their credit card information. The app also uses multi-biometric authentication technology and facial recognition to links their palm vein; once this has been registered, they can simply swipe their palm to enter the store and no longer need the phone. Read more (RIS)

The Rise of the Private City-State: In Nevada desert, a technology firm aims to be a government

He wants Nevada to change its laws to allow “innovation zones,” where companies would have powers like those of a county government, including creating court systems, imposing taxes and building infrastructure while making land and water management decisions. The prospect has been met with intrigue and skepticism from Nevada lawmakers, though the legislation has yet to be formally filed or discussed in public hearings. Most in the Democratic-controlled Legislature are eager to diversify Nevada’s tourism-dependent economy, but many fear backlash against business incentives as they struggle to fund health care and education. Read more (Las Vegas Sun)

Chinese-speaking Clubhouse users are creating “silent rooms”

Clubhouse is blowing up in China, but many Chinese-speaking users aren’t talking. Instead, they’re using it to network. One chatroom is named “Silent Room 2: No talking on the microphone, just checking bios and following each other” in traditional Chinese script. It’s attracted over 1,700 participants, including the famous Taiwanese singer and actor Aaron Yan. Even with over 80 people set as speakers or moderators, the room is dead quiet. Read more (Protocol)

China is home to a growing market for dubious “emotion recognition” technology

Emotion recognition technology is based upon a fundamentally flawed idea: that an algorithm can analyze a person’s facial expressions and accurately infer their inner state or mood. In reality, when a person experiences emotions like joy, worry, or disgust, studies have found that they don’t necessarily respond by reacting in consistent, universal ways. While many people may frown if they feel sad, that reaction is also dependent on factors such as culture and the situation and moment. Read more (restofworld.org)

Microsoft envisions ‘scoring’ meetings based on body language

This is just a patent application, and there’s no certainty that Microsoft will ever adopt the technology. GeekWire added that there aren’t any mentions of privacy protections, and that a Microsoft 365 “Productivity Score” feature introduced in October has drawn criticisms for allegedly enabling workplace surveillance. Microsoft would have to protect privacy and reassure workers that they won’t be fired for checking their text messages. Read more (Engadget)

Feeling Safe in the Home of the Future: A product life-cycle approach to improve the trustworthiness of smart home products and services

A home is more than a building or a place of shelter. It is where we take care of the people and things that mean the most to us. Turning a physical structure into a place of comfort, safety and sanctuary is hard work, but what if the home itself could help? Read more (World Economic Forum)