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Privacy Government

How California Police Are Tracking Your Biometric Data In the Field (muckrock.com) 46

v3rgEz writes: EFF and MuckRock teamed up in August to reveal how state and local law enforcement agencies are using mobile biometric technology in the field by filing public records requests around the country. With the help of members of the public who nominated jurisdictions for investigation, we have now obtained thousands of pages of documents from more than 30 agencies. Here's how police around California are using iris scanners, fingerprint readers, and facial recognition to monitor civilians.
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How California Police Are Tracking Your Biometric Data In the Field

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  • by metrix007 ( 200091 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @05:15PM (#50866309)

    There are few ways to combat this, and it's a losing war to fight against a system that supports this.

    The goal should be to fix the system so that this kind of nonsense is outlawed, and I believe we will meet that goal eventually. People are becoming outraged and are not OK with all this snooping...I expect this to change because when enough people are upset at behavior that is no longer hidden...it can't continue for much longer.

    If it doesn't change, or in the meanwhile, what can we do? I've considered erasing fingerprints before, maybe by burning them off (I don't like having my fingerprints recorded every time I enter the US, or for any other matter). That's legal. It may raise questions, but nothing illegal about it. It's much harder (nigh impossible) to change an iris, but possibly wearing contacts could work.

    Facial recognition is actually much easier. I forget the study/article, but basically by wearing some clear plastic parts on yoru face in the right way, it tends to obscure facial recognition techniques. Perhaps some special "fashionable" glasses/sunglasses or a baseball cap, something with plausible deniability that will obscure results legally. That, or grow the largest most unattractive beard you can. Not sure what ladies can do...maybe a special kind of makeup could be developed, which would be cool....

    KGIII, ignore this post and go back to Digg. Please.

    • by truck_soccer ( 4286027 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @05:22PM (#50866365)
      I would say that you're wrong about the majority of people giving a shit about their privacy. If that were true, the smartphone boom would have been a bubble that burst. Instead we just see more and more privacy invasions wrapped up in a fancy new "smart" device, and millions and millions of people line up to get one. That isn't what I would call "outrage". Sure, the more savvy folks understand the underworkings of all this and are thus annoyed. People are too comfortable right now to really care about it. The powers that be have already won this war, and the minority (technically-abled folks) sound like crazy tin foil nutters when we talk to the typical citizen about all the ways uncle sam knows everything about you. TL;DR the average joe just doesnt give a fuck.
      • I think that is due to ignorance, not apathy. Many were outraged over the Snowden revelations, and most people have literally no idea how much spying their smartphones can do. If they really understood, I don't think they would be OK with it, but maybe that is hopeful thinking on my part.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          It's necessary ignorance. Most people are blissfully unaware of how their technology actually works and what medium it uses to connect with other services. TBH they shouldn't HAVE to know these details. At the simplest level your phone is reaching out to cellphone towers so we can spoof towers (Stingray) or we can just subpoena records from the tower owner. You're probably authenticating to a few WiFi hotspots (or you might be one) so we can grab the authentication requests or look for any SSID broadcasts y

          • You're conflating understanding the inner workings of a device, with being aware of what a device is doing. The latter is something everyone should be aware of, and ignorance is inexcusable..or soon will be.

            People know what a car does and what it is capable of without having to understand how it works...

            • by Lennie ( 16154 )

              "People know what a car does and what it is capable of without having to understand how it works..."

              Not for much longer though.

              Really, I think most people were surprised a Tesla could drive on it's own and change lanes on it's own and Tesla will be able to do much more in the future.

              The hardware is already included (although I suspect they want to add more hardware in the next models to make it more capable).

        • I think the phone privacy issues are a matter of selective ignorance. People know vaguely what power and potential for abuse exists in smartphones, but it isn't enough to deter their use. They choose to ignore the issue because most people don't have a clear available alternative that still provides the utility. I know how phones can be abused, so Android gets a Google account under a fake name, I refuse to use apps that ask for excessive permissions, I will never install any social media app, basically I s

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Exactly. With Republican control of CA, it's just going to get worse here.

    • I see this a lot on here: "We can overcome this through legislation and a focus on privacy..." Its just not True. This type of pervasive surveillance has little to do with what government we have, who is in power or where they money is at. It all comes down to progress. As we move forward and advance technology this becomes an inevitability. Even a societal move to neo-luddism won't help long term as with all luddite movements the people eventually die and their kids, born in the technology, are less scare
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Monitor "civilians"? Law enforcement are civilians! Do they think they're part of the military?

    • Wrong focus. Politicians wrote these laws, they are the only ones that can change them.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Monitor "civilians"? Law enforcement are civilians! Do they think they're part of the military?

      In our city, yes. To them non-police are "civilians" but police are not. They even have their own military-style marching songs at the local police acadamy.

  • by rsborg ( 111459 ) on Wednesday November 04, 2015 @05:28PM (#50866423) Homepage

    San Jose told EFF that it did not receive the federal grant and is seeking alternative funding sources.

    This note piqued my interest - I wonder what other funding sources they could be speaking of?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why does the government need more money and more power?

    So it can be used AGAINST YOU!!!

    So be sure to vote for politicians that want "someone else" to pay "their fair share".

    Naaah, it couldn't be that those pols just want MORE POWER, could it?

    It couldn't be they're FOOLING YOU, could it?

    Of course not! You're too smart for that.

    But damn, you HATE what the NSA is doing.

    You HATE the militarization of police forces.

    You HATE how the government seems to care more about the interests of large corporations.

    Because

  • The latest trend is to whip out your phone and start recording whenever and wherever you see the authorities in action. This is a great development that must be encouraged and expanded.

    Let the citizens install scanners that track the movements of police vehicles and other government employees, scan their faces and tags, collect their prints and skin flakes. Post the collected data to an easily searchable database. So when we see Mr. Plod emerge from a motel, tired and emotional, with a lady who is not his

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Let the citizens install scanners that track the movements of police vehicles and other government employees, scan their faces and tags, collect their prints and skin flakes. Post the collected data to an easily searchable database.

      There was a website about 10 years ago that did this. You could post a picture of a cop, his badge number, etc. They collected public information on the officers and made it easily searchable. Including public court records where the officer was a witness and publicly available information about disciplinary actions, etc.

      It was shutdown as many cops did not like it, it was also getting pictures and information on cops that were working undercover. If I remember correctly it was shut down because it endanger

      • by Lennie ( 16154 )

        Then it's time for a new one, run as a Tor hidden service in an other country or something along those lines.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Yes a lot of first amendment audit and public record request video sites and clips are been created.
      Its amazing to see the demands to ID in a public place, to ID and have a reason to even be using a camera in public, to stop and hand over the data and equipment.
      A few apps have been made to live stream or stream or save as a background app.
      The way way around that is for an interview to establish ID and demand for the device to be unlocked and any connected site to be shared during the chat down.
      Trying

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