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Federal Agencies Planning to Expand Use of Facial Recognition

The Hill reported:

At least 10 federal agencies are planning to expand their use of facial recognition technology in the next few years, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released earlier this week.

The departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Interior, Justice, State, Treasury and Veterans Affairs all told the watchdog that they will grow their capabilities by 2023.

The GAO surveyed 24 agencies overall about their use of the controversial technology, finding that most of them use it for things like allowing employees to unlock agency smartphones or enter buildings.

Apple Allows Children to Access Casual-Sex and BDSM Apps, Finds Report

The Guardian reported:

Apple knowingly lets underage users access apps intended for adults, according to an investigation by the Tech Transparency Project (TTP), despite having asked for and recorded their dates of birth.

The investigation asserts a disconnect between the information Apple knows about a user, which includes their self-declared age, and the ways it polices age restrictions on its App Store.

TTP created a user account with a date of birth in February 2007, and tested to see how well Apple’s policies were applied. The group discovered that, even though the user had a self-declared age of just 14, they could download apps such as “Eros: Hook Up & Adult Chat” and “KinkD: Kink, BDSM Dating Life” from the store. Both apps are marked as “17+” by Apple’s age-rating system, but when an underage user tries to download them, they are simply presented with a pop-up notification asking them to “tap OK to confirm that you are 17 or over.”

Oregon to Require Masks at Outdoor Public Settings Starting Friday

Oregon Live reported

Oregon will require adults and most children to wear face coverings starting Friday in most public settings where people are close to each other, in yet another attempt to slow spread of the contagious delta variant of COVID-19.

Children under 5 years old are exempt from the mandate, as are people of all ages while eating and drinking outdoors and people living outdoors while experiencing homelessness.

More Than Half of Florida’s Students Now Go to Schools Mandating Masks in Defiance of Desantis

Washington Post reported:

More than half of Florida’s students are now enrolled in public school districts with mask mandates despite threats of sanctions from the administration of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who decreed that only parents can decide whether their children wear masks.

On Tuesday night, two school districts — in Orange and Indian River counties — approved mandates to try to stop the spread of the delta variant of the novel coronavirus. They joined eight other districts that recently moved to require a medical exemption from a doctor to opt out.

The state is a hot spot for coronavirus cases, with a positivity rate for new cases at nearly 20% as hospitals keep filling with patients.

New Montana Law Sows Confusion, Defiance Over School Quarantines

KHN reported

As classes get underway this week and next, Montana school and county health officials are grappling with how a new state law that bans vaccine discrimination should apply to quarantine orders for students and staffers exposed to COVID-19.

It’s the latest fallout from the law that says businesses and governmental entities can’t treat people differently based on vaccination status. The law makes Montana the only state that prohibits both public and private employers — including hospitals — from requiring workers to get vaccinated against COVID.

Some state and county officials also interpret the law to mean that unvaccinated people can’t be ordered to quarantine over a COVID exposure unless vaccinated people are, too. That interpretation goes against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for only unvaccinated people to quarantine in the event of a COVID exposure.