Close menu
April 19, 2024 Censorship/Surveillance


Barely Any of Us Are Choosing Fingerprints Over Passwords Yet + More

The Defender’s Big Brother NewsWatch brings you the latest headlines related to governments’ abuse of power, including attacks on democracy, civil liberties and use of mass surveillance. The views expressed in the excerpts from other news sources do not necessarily reflect the views of The Defender.

The Defender’s Big Brother NewsWatch brings you the latest headlines.

Barely Any of Us Are Choosing Fingerprints Over Passwords Yet

TechRadar reported:

Many Americans still prefer using passwords over biometrics, out of concerns their intimate data might be stolen by hackers.

A report from NordVPN has found only 21% of U.S. citizens favor using their fingerprints over passwords to protect the apps on their smartphones.

Biometrics, which consists of scan data of unique features, such as your fingerprint or face, can be used to authenticate many apps and payments, as well as unlocking your device itself. While biometrics are very difficult for threat actors to dupe, NordVPN notes that it is not impossible.

Startup Pitches a Paintball-Armed, AI-Powered Home Security Camera

Popular Science reported:

It’s a bold pitch for homeowners: What if you let a small tech startup’s crowdfunded AI surveillance system dispense vigilante justice for you?

A Slovenia-based company called OZ-IT recently announced PaintCam Eve, a line of autonomous property monitoring devices that will utilize motion detection and facial recognition to guard against supposed intruders.

In the company’s zany promo video, a voiceover promises Eve will protect owners from burglars, unwanted animal guests, and any hapless passersby who fail to heed its “zero compliance, zero tolerance” warning.

The consequences for shrugging off Eve’s threats: Getting blasted with paintballs, or perhaps even teargas pellets.

“Experience ultimate peace of mind,” PaintCam’s website declares, as Eve will offer owners a “perfect fusion of video security and physical presence” thanks to its “unintrusive [sic] design that stands as a beacon of safety.”

Billions of Discord Chats Have Been Harvested, Set to Be Sold Online

TechRadar reported:

A publically-accessible website appears to be selling a colossal database of Discord chats to the highest bidder.

The site is called, and claims to have obtained more than four billion public messages, made by roughly 620 million users, logged into more than 14,000 servers.

Despite the information being seemingly free and simply scraped from the internet, Discord is still looking into it.

In a statement, the company said:

“Discord is committed to protecting the privacy and data of our users. We are currently investigating this matter. If we determine that violations of our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines have occurred, we will take appropriate steps to enforce our policies. We cannot provide further comments as this is an ongoing investigation.”

More Police Are Using Your Cameras for Video Evidence

The Good Men Project reported:

Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., are among major cities slated to launch a Real-Time Crime Center later this year, billed as a kind of “nerve center” for the integration of police technology and data. The Marshall Project looks at how these centers are blurring the line between public and private surveillance.

These “nerve centers” vary, but tend to integrate public surveillance video with other police technology like license plate readers, facial recognition, drone cameras, body camera footage and gunshot detection software.

As Wired Magazine reported last summer, the centers have been popping up across the country, with at least 135 now running, according to one count.

Proponents say the centers make it easier for police to solve crimes and find suspects.

Opponents worry both about the invasion of privacy, and that increased surveillance will disproportionately target Black people and other marginalized communities.

Amazon Removed Just Walk Out From Many of Its Own Stores but Wants to Sell the System to Others

Star Tribune reported:

Amazon wants the public and — especially other businesses — to know it’s not giving up on its Just Walk Out technology.

Although the company is ditching the cashier-less checkout system at its Amazon Fresh grocery stores, it plans to sell the technology to more than 120 third-party businesses by the end of the year. Reaching that goal would double the number of non-Amazon enterprises that use Just Walk Out compared to last year.

”For us, really making sure that we can service that third-party market is the most important thing,” Jon Jenkins, the vice president of Just Walk Out at Amazon, said in an interview. ”We’ve definitely been reassuring people that we are in this for the long haul.”

Just Walk Out uses cameras, artificial intelligence and sensor trackers to determine what’s taken off of shelves, enabling customers to grab what they want and leave if they insert a credit card or another payment method at a store’s entry gate.

Olympic Organizers Unveil Strategy for Using Artificial Intelligence in Sports

Boston Herald reported:

Olympic organizers unveiled their strategy Friday to use artificial intelligence (AI) in sports, joining the global rush to capitalize on the rapidly advancing technology.

The International Olympic Committee outlined its agenda for taking advantage of AI. Officials said it could be used to help identify promising athletes, personalize training methods and make the games fairer by improving judging.

“Today we are making another step to ensure the uniqueness of the Olympic Games and the relevance of sport. To do this, we have to be leaders of change,” IOC President Thomas Bach said at a press event in the velodrome at the Olympic Park in London, which hosted the summer games in 2012.

“We are determined to exploit the vast potential of AI in a responsible way,” Bach said.

The IOC revealed its AI master plan as it gears up to hold the Paris Olympics, which are set to kick off in just under 100 days.

Suggest A Correction

Share Options

Close menu

Republish Article

Please use the HTML above to republish this article. It is pre-formatted to follow our republication guidelines. Among other things, these require that the article not be edited; that the author’s byline is included; and that The Defender is clearly credited as the original source.

Please visit our full guidelines for more information. By republishing this article, you agree to these terms.