Search Results for “Alfred Ng”

May 29, 2020
Davey Alba / New York Times

Davey Alba / New York Times  
ACLU Sues Facial Recognition Company Clearview AI for Violating Illinois Law Forbidding Use of Face Scans Without Consent

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued the facial recognition start-up Clearview AI, which claims to have helped hundreds of law enforcement agencies use online photos to solve crimes, accusing the company of “unlawful, privacy-destroying surveillance activities.” The suit claims that Clearview is violating a stringent Illinois law that forbids companies from using a resident’s fingerprints or face scans without consent. Each violation of the law could cost the company $5,000. The suit follows a report in the New York Times that the company had amassed a database of more than three billion photos across the internet, including from Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Venmo.

Related: BiometricUpdate, SC Magazine, Law360, Chicago Sun-Times – All, Gizmodo, The Verge, Daily Dot, Slashdot, Gizmodo AustraliaCNET, VentureBeat,, Engadget, BuzzFeed News


BiometricUpdate: China considers biometric data protection law to curb facial recognition abuses and secure PII
SC Magazine: Facial recognition fails accuracy test raises privacy concerns; ACLU sues Clearview AI | SC Media
Law360: Advocacy Orgs Say Clearview AI Broke Biometric Privacy Law – Law360
Chicago Sun-Times – All: ACLU sues Clearview AI, developer of controversial facial recognition technology used by CPD
Gizmodo: The ACLU Is Suing Shady Facial Recognition Startup Clearview AI for Being a Shady Facial Recognition Startup
The Verge: ACLU sues facial recognition firm Clearview AI, calling it a ‘nightmare scenario’ for privacy
Daily Dot: ACLU sues facial recognition company Clearview AI
Slashdot: ACLU Accuses Clearview AI of Privacy ‘Nightmare Scenario’
Gizmodo Australia: The ACLU Is Suing Shady Facial Recognition Startup Clearview AI for Being a Shady Facial Recognition Startup
CNET: Clearview AI faces lawsuit over gathering people’s images without consent
VentureBeat: ACLU sues facial recognition startup Clearview AI for privacy and safety violations ACLU: We’re Taking Clearview AI to Court to End its Privacy-Destroying Face Surveillance Activities
Engadget: ACLU sues Clearview AI over alleged privacy violations
BuzzFeed News: The ACLU Is Suing Clearview AI To Stop “Privacy-Destroying Face Surveillance”

@alfredwkng: Clearview AI is getting sued for allegedly violating Illinois's biometric privacy law. If you are an Illinois resident and don't want your photo in Clearview's database, you have to agree to give them your photo.

May 14, 2020
Ellen Nakashima / Washington Post

Ellen Nakashima / Washington Post  
Senate Passes Freedom Act Renewal After Amendment Mandating Warrants For Browser and Search Data Fails

The Senate adopted a package of surveillance reforms its backers say will help rein in abuses by voting 80 to 16 in favor of a bill that renews the USA Freedom Act. The law, which facilitates the FBI’s use of several surveillance tools, expired in March. Many public interest and privacy advocates had hoped the bill would contain deep reforms to protect civil liberties. Among the promising privacy amendments which did not ultimate survive was one that reined in abuses under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by banning access to browsing histories and search activity without a warrant. A less privacy-friendly version of the legislation now heads to the House for final passage. The Senate bill did, however, strengthen third-party oversight of the process used to obtain court approval for wiretaps and searches in espionage and counterterrorism investigations under FISA.

Related: The Huffington Post, Privacy Online News, Mashable, Tech Insider, Vox, Roll Call,TechCrunch, Techdirt, POLITICO, VICE News, RT USA, The Hill: Cybersecurity, Slashdot, CNET, The Huffington Post, Tech Xplore, 9to5Mac, ExtremeTech, Roll Call, ET news, Input, ABC News: U.S., POLITICO, The Verge

Tweets:@TheHat2 @demandprogress @dellcam @alfredwkng @martinmatishak @lhautala

The Huffington Post: Senate Rejects Bid To Prevent Warrantless Government Surveillance Of Internet Use
Privacy Online News: Congress plans to expand Patriot Act with DOJ access to your web browsing and search activity without a warrant
Mashable: Senate votes down ban on spying on internet history without a warrant
Tech Insider: Mitch McConnell is pushing the Senate to pass a law that would let the FBI collect Americans’ web-browsing history without a warrant
Vox: The Senate just voted to let the government keep surveilling your online life without a warrant
Roll Call: Senate may have the votes to limit surveillance of browser history
TechCrunch: Senate narrowly rejects plan to require a warrant for Americans’ browsing data
Techdirt: One Vote Short: FISA Amendment Requiring Warrants For Browser & Search Data Fails
POLITICO: Senate defeats amendment to shield browsing histories in FISA searches
VICE News: Senate Votes to Allow FBI to Look at Your Web Browsing History Without a Warrant
RT USA: Senate votes down anti-surveillance amendment, as both parties back warrantless spying on Americans’ browser history
The Hill: Cybersecurity: In win for privacy hawks, Senate adds more legal protections to FISA bill
Slashdot : Senate Defeats Amendment To Shield Browsing Histories in FISA Searches
CNET: Senate rejects tougher standards for collection of search and browsing data
The Huffington Post: Senate Rejects Bid To Prevent Warrantless Government Surveillance Of Internet Use
Tech Xplore – electronic gadgets, technology advances and research news: Senate may have the votes to limit surveillance of browser history
9to5Mac : Senate votes to allow FBI to access your browsing history without a warrant
ExtremeTech: US Senate Falls One Vote Short of Protecting Your Online Privacy
Roll Call: Senate passes amended FISA surveillance overhaul
ET news: US Senate votes against ban on unwarranted internet surveillance
Input: The U.S. government can legally spy on your web activity
ABC News: U.S.: Senate to consider renewal of surveillance laws
POLITICO: Senate passes FISA renewal bill, sends it back to the House
The Verge: Senate passes surveillance bill without ban on web history snooping

@TheHat2: Warrantless surveillance on its own should fuck right off.
@demandprogress: 'Here's who just voted to let the FBI seize your online search history without a warrant' — great reporting from @dellcam #PATRIOTAct #FISA
@dellcam: Wow, the Leahy-Lee amendment did pass. Have not read it entirely, but it says the FISA Court "shall" appoint someone w/ privacy/civil liberties expertise in cases w/ "significant concerns" re: 1st Amendment activities & expands requirements 4 disclosure of exculpatory material
@alfredwkng: The Wyden amendment to FISA requiring the FBI to get a warrant to get web browsing data falls short by 1 vote: 59-37
@martinmatishak: Where things stand on the Senate floor re: #fisa. The current tally on the @SenMikeLee @SenatorLeahy amendment is 75-19 in favor. We're awaiting @SenJohnHoeven & @SenCoryGardner , who is at the White House.
@lhautala: Senate rejects tougher standards for collection of search and browsing data

September 24, 2019
Alfred Ng / CNET

Alfred Ng / CNET  
Amazon-Owned Ring Considered Building Tool to Activate Nearby Smart Doorbell Video Cameras Triggered by 911 Emergency Calls

Amazon-owned home surveillance company Ring considered building a tool that would automatically activate the video cameras on nearby smart doorbells in the event of a 911 emergency call, according to emails obtained by CNET. Although not currently working on it, Amazon told a California police department in August 2018 that the function could arrive in the “not-so-distant future.” The goal of the automatic triggering would be to have nearby Ring cameras record and stream video that police could then use to investigate an incident. Ring currently faces a number of controversies over its partnerships with nearly 470 police departments across the country.

July 18, 2019
Alfred Ng / CNET

Alfred Ng / CNET  
Google Pulls Seven Icon-Less Stalkerware Apps From Play Store That Had Been Downloaded 130,000 Times

Seven stalkerware apps that had been downloaded more than 130,000 times were pulled from Google’s Play Store after being discovered by Avast. One called Spy Tracker was promoted as a way to keep kids safe but was described on the Play Store by users as a way to keep track of spouses. All seven apps prompted the attacker to install other software and then delete the initial download, which allowed the stalkerware apps to spy on victims without an icon appearing on the device.

Related: SlashGear, Engadget,,, Economic TimesTechradar, The Register – Security, Trusted Reviews, TechSpot, Digital Trends, GBHackers On Security, Android Central , 9to5GoogleMemeburn, IB TimesAndroid Central, Avast


August 9, 2019
Alfred Ng / CNET

Alfred Ng / CNET  
Majority of Robocall-Blocking Apps Collect and Share Personal Data Collected From Devices Without User Consent

A majority of robocall-blocking apps are collecting personal data on people’s devices without their explicit consent and sharing it with analytics firms, Dan Hastings, a security researcher at NCC Group found. These “free” apps aimed at reducing pesky and unwanted robocalls are sharing people’s phone numbers with data analytics firms, looking at their text messages and phone calls, and can learn what apps users have on their devices. Hastings discovered that the top robocall-blocking app, TrapCall, is sending people’s phone numbers to three data analytics companies even though this sharing wasn’t explicitly mentioned in the app’s privacy policy. TrapCall contends it only shares phone numbers with service providers who power their internal analytics and app messaging platforms. Another top robocalling app, Hijay, also sends people’s phone data to three data analytics firms even before they agree to the privacy policy. Hiya said it would resubmit its apps to the iOS and Play stores to make sure that basic device information is not sent without people’s consent.

October 3, 2019
Ryan Mac, Joseph Bernstein / Buzzfeed News

Ryan Mac, Joseph Bernstein / Buzzfeed News  
U.S., UK and Australian Officials Will Ask Facebook CEO to Delay Plans for End-to-End Messaging Encryption, New Data Sharing Between U.S. and UK Law Enforcement Slated for Announcement

Attorney General Bill Barr, along with officials from the United Kingdom and Australia, will publish an open letter, dated October 4, to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, asking the company to delay plans for end-to-end encryption across its messaging services until it can guarantee the added privacy does not reduce public safety. The letter is slated to be released at the same time as an announcement of a new data-sharing agreement between law enforcement in the US and the UK. The other signatories to the letter include UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, US Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan, and Australian Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton. The letter raises concerns that Facebook’s plan to build end-to-end encryption into its messaging apps will prevent law enforcement agencies from finding illegal activity conducted through Facebook, including child sexual exploitation, terrorism, and election meddling. It asks Facebook to let aw enforcement gain access to illegal content in a manageable format, and by consulting with governments ahead of time to ensure the changes will allow this access. Reuters separately reported that the new pact between the U.S. and the UK would fast track requests from law enforcement to technology companies for information about the communications of terrorists and child abusers.

Related: Reuters, New York Times, Sydney Morning Herald, Channel News Asia, Firstpost, BuzzFeed – Tech, Engadget, The Hill: Cybersecurity, CNBC,, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Cyberscoop, Columbia Journalism Review, Tech Insider, POLITICO, Vox, Vox, Fortune, FortuneBoing Boing, Tweets Journos, Stars and Stripes, AP Breaking News, Slashdot, Techdirt, The Guardian, Justice Department, Justice Department, Wall Street Journal

Tweets:@RMac18 @RMac18 @mikeisaac @alfredwkng @julianbarnes @teddyschleifer @ktbenner @Bing_Chris @donie @willsommer @kevincollier @RMac18 @alfredwkng @nytimes @BrendanBordelon @jank0 @snowden @Bing_Chirs @zackwhittaker @mattblaze

Reuters: Exclusive: U.S., UK to sign deal to get data faster from tech firms in security cases
New York Times: Barr Pushes Facebook for Access to WhatsApp Messages
Sydney Morning Herald : US, UK and Australia urge Facebook not to encrypt messages
Channel News Asia: US, allies urge Facebook not to encrypt messages as they fight child abuse, terrorism
Firstpost: U.S., allies urge Facebook not to encrypt messages as they fight child abuse, terrorism
BuzzFeed – Tech: “We are writing to request that Facebook does not proceed with its plan to implement end-to-end encryption across its messaging services without ensuring that there is no reduction to user safety.”
Engadget: DOJ will ask Facebook to halt end-to-end encryption plans
The Hill: Cybersecurity: Barr urging Facebook to halt plans for encrypted messages
CNBC: Here is AG Barr’s full letter to Facebook asking it not to make messages completely secret US, UK and Australia urge Facebook to halt plan to encrypt all user messages
Gizmodo: AG Bill Barr Is Reportedly Kicking Off a New Encryption War, With Facebook This Time
TechCrunch: Facebook is being leaned on by US, UK, Australia to ditch its end-to-end encryption expansion plan
Cyberscoop: U.S., UK, Australia to ask Facebook to delay message encryption
Columbia Journalism Review: What happens when Facebook confronts an existential threat?
Tech Insider: Attorney General William Barr will ask Facebook to delay its plans for a fully encrypted, auto-deleting messaging platform (FB)
POLITICO: U.S. and allies warn Zuckerberg on encryption plans
Vox: Facebook’s commitment to privacy is about to be tested
Fortune: AG Bill Barr, U.K., and Australian Justice Officials Want Facebook to Halt End-to-End Encryption Plan
Fortune: Facebook ‘Strongly Opposes’ Reported Letter by AG Barr That Will Ask Mark Zuckerberg to Delay Encrypting Its Apps
MSPoweruser: US DOJ pushes against end to end encryption in WhatsApp, Messenger
CNBC Technology: Here is AG Barr’s full letter to Facebook asking it not to make messages completely secret
Stars and Stripes: US authorities seek access to Facebook encrypted messaging
AP Breaking News: US authorities seek access to Facebook encrypted messaging
Slashdot: Attorney General Bill Barr Will Ask Zuckerberg To Halt Plans For End-To-End Encryption Across Facebook’s Apps
Techdirt: DOJ Using The FOSTA Playbook To Attack Encryption
The Guardian: US, UK and Australia urge Facebook to create backdoor access to encrypted messages
Justice Department: Attorney General Barr Signs Letter to Facebook From US, UK, and Australian Leaders Regarding Use of End-To-End Encryption
Justice Department: U.S. And UK Sign Landmark Cross-Border Data Access Agreement to Combat Criminals and Terrorists Online
Wall Street Journal: Barr Presses Facebook on Encryption, Setting Up Clash Over Privacy

@RMac18: Here's what Zuckerberg predicted about this fight back in July according to the leaked Facebook meeting audio obtained by @CaseyNewton
@RMac18: We were able to see a draft open letter from Bill Barr (and officials in the UK and Oz) to Mark Zuckerberg asking for Facebook to halt the roll out of e2e encryption across its apps. This may get ugly.
@mikeisaac: this barr encryption memo is a bfd
@alfredwkng: On a DoJ call, government official comments on the letter: "There are very significant concerns that law enforcement officials have if Facebook were to end-to-end encrypt all communications on its platforms"
@julianbarnes: Justice Department, backed by the UK, Australia, seeks backdoor to WhatsApp, Facebook encrypted messages. With @ktbenner @MikeIsaac
@teddyschleifer: Facebook statement on the Barr memo.
@ktbenner: AG Bill Barr and other SR officials in Australia and the UK call on Facebook to build a backdoor in WhatsApp for law enforcement/to halt a plan for end to end encryption across all FB properties
@Bing_Chris: The Barr letter to Facebook is a big deal. Government now openly discouraging proliferation of end-to-end encryption
@donie: US Attorney William Barr, as well as senior government officials from the UK and Australia, are formally asking Facebook give up on its plan to encrypt user messages across its platforms, @kevincollier reports
@willsommer: The press conference is being drowned by out by Chumbawamba. Jacob tells the security guard to remove a heckler, but the guard appears to refuse on the grounds that the man is on public property.
@kevincollier: UK official on this DOJ encryption call rn says we need to move on from the term "backdoor," though we still don't see a real way to have E2E and lawful access. These govs have been calling E2E "warrant-proof encryption."
@RMac18: We now have the full letter from Bill Barr and others to Mark Zuckerberg in our story.
@alfredwkng: A UK government official just referenced GCHQ's proposal for access to encrypted messages -- which Apple, Google, Microsoft and FB slammed in May. The pitch was: secretly add police into encrypted conversations, so they could view messages while hidden
@nytimes: Attorney General William Barr and his British and Australian counterparts are set to push Facebook for a back door to its end-to-end encryption on WhatsApp and other messaging platforms, which would give investigators access to now-secret communication
@BrendanBordelon: Hoo boy. AG Bill Barr is set to call on Facebook to delay encryption plans, and he's got backup from the UK and Australia. A new battle in the encryption wars looks dangerously close to kicking off.
@jank0: Also, isn't it a bit odd that Facebook would launch a new messaging app without end-to-end encryption half a year after Mark Zuckerberg wrote a 3000 word manifesto about encrypted messaging?
@snowden: Oh hey, turns out it's even worse; it's more than just #WhatsApp, it's all FB-owned messaging: "Attorney General William P. Barr is set to press @Facebook on Friday to create a so-called back door to its end-to-end encryption on WhatsApp ***AND OTHER MESSAGING PLATFORMS***"
@Bing_Chirs: Meh.. I think it’s different in style and substance. The overarching encryption fight is repetitive and cyclical, obviously. However, 3/5 five eyes writing a letter to Facebook asking them to abandon encryption plans feels different... no?
@zackwhittaker: A crypto reality check talk by @RonWyden on the USG's plan to backdoor WhatsApp.
@mattblaze: So about this “warrantless encryption” thing. We’ve been here before. The first time was way back in 1993, a time when the Internet was just starting to gain widespread traction and concerns about privacy and information security were on the cusp of entering the mainstream. 1/

December 12, 2019
Alfred Ng / CNET

Alfred Ng / CNET  
KeyWe Smart Locks Can Be Easily Hacked Using $10 Network Sniffing Devices, Device Unable to Be Patched

Potential hackers can intercept network traffic between the mobile app of KeyWe Smart Lock and the smart lock itself, essentially stealing the keys to the lock, researchers at F-Secure report. The attack can be performed through network sniffing devices, which can be purchased for as little as $10. KeyWe said that they had fixed the issue through security updates, although F-Secure found that the device does not accept over-the-air updates. The lock is sold on Amazon for $155.

May 9, 2019
Alfred Ng / CNET

Alfred Ng / CNET  
Tenants Gain Right to Physical Keys in Settlement of One of the First Legal Challenges to Smart Locks, Raised Privacy Concerns After 93-Year-Old Gets Trapped in Apartment

In one of the first legal challenges to smart locks installed by landlords,  a judge ordered landlords of an apartment building in New York to provide physical keys to any tenants who don’t want to use the Latch smart locks installed on the building last September. Mary Beth McKenzie, her husband, Tony Mysak and a group of tenants sued their landlords after the landlords installed the smart locks last year and after 93-year-old Mysak, who wasn’t capable of using a phone, found himself trapped in his home because of the smart locks. The plaintiffs argued that there were privacy concerns with the Latch smart lock and the app required to get into their own building. The settlement stated physical keys were a “required service” for the landlords, and that any smart entry system in the future wasn’t considered a required service.

Related: Gizmodo

After Smart Lock Allegedly Traps Senior in Apartment, Tenants Sue for Physical Keys and Win

May 23, 2019

Amazon Shareholder Proposals to Limit, Study Facial Recognition Technology Fail at Annual Meeting

Two Amazon shareholder proposals about the company’s controversial facial recognition technology, Rekognition, which were promoted by civil rights groups and activist shareholders, failed to pass at the company’s annual shareholder meeting. One proposal would have banned the company from selling the technology to governments and the other called for an independent study of the potential privacy and human rights violations caused by the technology. The proposals were non-binding on the company and proponents of the measures said they would continue to keep pressure on the company.

Related: BuzzFeed – Tech, Techdirt, Ad Week, Daily Dot,, iTnews – Security, WIRED, Technology News, TechCrunch, GeekWire, The Hill: Cybersecurity, QuartzTech Insider, Mashable, The Verge, Slashdot, Ad Week, Daily Dot,

BuzzFeed – Tech: Amazon Now Has A Web Form For People To Report Abuses Of Its Facial Recognition Tech
Techdirt: As San Francisco Bans Facial Recognition Tech By Local Cops, New York City’s Legislators Stall On Transparency Reforms
Ad Week: Amazon Can Continue Selling Facial Analysis Tech to the Government
Daily Dot: Republicans and Democrats agree on dangers of facial recognition tech Moves To Curb Facial Recognition Usage Rejected By Amazon Shareholders
iTnews – Security: Amazon shareholders reject facial recognition ban as concern grows in US Congress
WIRED: Facial Recognition Has Already Reached Its Breaking Point
Technology News: Surveillance technology under fire, amid growing societal concerns
TechCrunch: Amazon shareholders reject facial recognition sale ban to governments
GeekWire: Shareholders reject efforts to rein in Amazon’s sale of facial recognition tech to law enforcement
The Hill: Cybersecurity: Lawmakers call for ‘time out’ on facial recognition tech
Quartz: Congress found something to agree on: facial recognition
Tech Insider: China uses AI, facial recognition, and blockchain to monitor its farms — but it still can’t stop the gruesome swine fever that will leave 200 million pigs dead
Mashable: Congress agrees: It’s time to regulate facial recognition technology
The Verge: Republicans and Democrats agree: it’s time to regulate facial recognition tech
Slashdot: Shareholder Efforts To Curb Amazon Facial Recognition Tech Fall ShortAd Week: Amazon Can Continue Selling Facial Analysis Tech to the Government
Daily Dot: Republicans and Democrats agree on dangers of facial recognition tech Moves To Curb Facial Recognition Usage Rejected By Amazon Shareholders