tool

This Tool Could Protect Your Photos From Facial Recognition

Images provided by the SAND Lab at the University of Chicago show before and after photographs of, from left, Jessica Simpson, Gwyneth Paltrow and Patrick Dempsey that were cloaked by the Fawkes team. (SAND Lab, University of Chicago via The New York Times)
Images provided by the SAND Lab at the University of Chicago show before and after photographs of, from left, Jessica Simpson, Gwyneth Paltrow and Patrick Dempsey that were cloaked by the Fawkes team. (SAND Lab, University of Chicago via The New York Times)

In recent years, companies have been prowling the web for public photos associated with people’s names that they can use to build enormous databases of faces and improve their facial-recognition systems, adding to a growing sense that personal privacy is being lost, bit by digital bit.

A startup called Clearview AI, for example, scraped billions of online photos to build a tool for police that could lead them from a face to a Facebook account, revealing a person’s identity.

Now researchers are trying to foil those systems. A team of computer engineers at the University of Chicago has developed a tool that disguises photos with pixel-level changes

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A tool that unmasks child porn offenders led to thousands of arrests. Now it’s expanding.

BOCA RATON, Fla. — In December 2016, law enforcement agents seized computers and hard drives from the home of Tay Christopher Cooper, a retired high school history teacher, in Carlsbad, California. On the devices, digital forensic experts found more than 11,600 photos and videos depicting child sexual abuse, according to court documents.

Among the videos was one showing a man raping a toddler girl, according to a criminal complaint.

“The audio associated with this video is that of a baby crying,” the complaint states.

Police were led to Cooper’s door by a forensic tool called Child Protection System, which scans file-sharing networks and chatrooms to find computers that are downloading photos and videos depicting the sexual abuse of prepubescent children. The software, developed by the Child Rescue Coalition, a Florida-based nonprofit, can help establish the probable cause needed to get a search warrant.

Cooper had used one of the file-sharing

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Martin Lewis hits out at “dangerous” new tool from Student Loans Company

Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert, has been campaigning against scam ads online for over a year: Steve Parsons/PA Archive/PA Images
Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert, has been campaigning against scam ads online for over a year: Steve Parsons/PA Archive/PA Images

Financial campaigner Martin Lewis today blasted the Student Loans Company’s new website, dubbing it “demoralising, damaging and dangerous”.

The SLC moved its site from SLC.co.uk to Gov.uk and features tools to show students how much they owe.

However Lewis argued the tools encourage students to pay off their debts faster, even though there is no financial benefit to doing so. Annual repayments are set at 9% of anything a former student earns over a certain threshold, which is currently £26,575 per year.

Lewis, the founder of financial planning site Moneysavingexpert.com and the former head of the independent taskforce on student finance information, said: “The first thing university leavers see when they log in, in a large font, is the amount of ‘debt they owe’. This is demoralising, damaging and dangerous….

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