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Last Week Online #35 – You're nose is in the middle of it all

Anna Loverus
Anna Loverus
2 min read

This week most news concerns your face.

Real-time facial recognition is a violation of privacy or human rights according to a British judge

Police use of live facial recognition technology is acceptable and does not violate privacy and human rights, a British judge ruled this week. Being one of the first lawsuits on the matter, law enforcement agencies, privacy advocacy groups and government officials have watched the case closely.

Both the South Wales Police and the Metropolitan Police Service in London have used the technology, for instance, during large events. The technology uses cameras to scan faces in a crowd and, in real-time, compare the images with a police database of wanted individuals.

Several companies are developing systems that can be used by police departments, and while the technology advances quickly, laws and regulations have been slower to develop. The court stated that the police have "sufficient legal controls" in place to prevent improper use of the technology.

Face(book) recognition technology rolled back

Facebook won’t use facial recognition on you unless you tell it to, switching from an opt-out to an opt-in logic when collecting biometric data. The change comes after Facebooks feature to tag your friends in photos was the subject of a lawsuit in Illinois over the use of biometric data. In August, a federal court ruled that Facebook users can sue the company over their use of facial recognition technology.

For a long time, Facebook has been using facial recognition technology to suggest to your friends to tag you in their photos — unless you actively opted out. Now, all users will have to opt-in before Facebook uses facial recognition on them and their photos.

Some users have already turned off the feature; nothing will change for them. Facebook will now ask any new Facebook user, and everyone with the feature currently turned on, to allow them to collect your biometric data.

Google bans ads for shady medical treatments

This week Google announced it would no longer accept ads for "unproven or experimental medical techniques." The new rules come after "a rise in bad actors" trying to take advantage of patients by offering "untested, deceptive treatments."

The new rules prohibit ads for treatments that have "no established biomedical or scientific basis," and includes most stem cell therapy, cellular therapy and gene therapy. When explaining the new policy, Google said: "These treatments can lead to dangerous health outcomes and we feel they have no place on our platforms."

While Google calls explicitly out stem cell therapy and other similar forms of treatments in the new policy, the new rule would seem to apply to all untested therapies. Also, this again puts Google in a position to decide what is allowed on its platform and not. It’s now their call to determine what constitutes "unproven or experimental medical techniques," and if ads should be moderated — a task that the company has struggled with in the past.

Fun fact...

Apple will live stream its iPhone 11 event on YouTube for the first time.

Tool of the week: LeedFeeder

LeedFeeder connects to your Google Analytics and decodes the IP-addresses from your website visitors and displays the companies they belong to. This information is helpful to most B2B site owners since you can see if the people visiting your site are potential clients. It might sound simple, but it can be beneficial for anyone who is on the hunt for new leads.

You don't need to install anything on your site; it connects with your Google Analytics account, and you can connect it to MailChimp and find out if people following your newsletters are visiting your site.

With their paid version, you can see the time someone spends on your site, who the person is (when that's possible for instance if they've signed up for a demo or to a newsletter), and you can feed the leads into your CRM.

Last Week Online

Anna Loverus Twitter

Thinker and doer. Loves running, wine, and human behaviour.

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