Chris Feola | September 21, 2020

Portland Passes Groundbreaking Ban on Facial Recognition in Stores, Banks, Restaurants and More

Established as two pieces of companion legislation, one ordinance makes Portland the first U.S. city to prohibit use of facial recognition technologies inside privately owned places accessible to the public, such as stores, banks, Airbnb rentals, restaurants, entertainment venues, public transit stations, homeless shelters, senior centers, law and doctors’ offices, and a variety of other businesses. This new law also gives people the right to sue and win damages for the unlawful use of facial recognition, one of many components of the legislation that prompted opposition from business groups. It lets people sue noncompliant private entities for $1,000 per day for each day of violation or for damages sustained as a result of the violation, whichever is greater.

In China, GitHub Is a Free Speech Zone for Covid Information

One collaborative project, known as a “repository,” was named #2020nCovMemory. Founded by seven volunteers from around the world, it included everything from investigative reports published by Chinese news magazine Caixin to the diary entries of Wuhan writer Fang Fang, who criticized the local government’s suppression of information and initial failure to warn the public about the virus. Another repository, called Terminus2049—named after a planet in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series—collected sensitive articles that were otherwise inaccessible behind China’s Great Firewall, such as an interview with Ai Fen, the doctor who first discovered the virus in December. In February, Zeng joined a repository called 2020nCov_individual_archives, to crowdsource online diary entries and citizens’ accounts of everyday life during the pandemic.

Facebook Fights Irish Privacy Watchdog’s Data-Transfer Curbs

Facebook Inc. sought to derail proposals by the Irish data protection watchdog that the tech giant warns could curb transfers of vast amounts of commercial data across the Atlantic. The social network giant said it sought a judicial review of the Irish Data Protection Commission’s preliminary decision that the company may have to halt trans-Atlantic data transfers using the most commonly used EU tool still available to firms

…Finally, on the (hopefully) lighter side…

A robot wrote this entire article. Are you scared yet, human?

The mission for this op-ed is perfectly clear. I am to convince as many human beings as possible not to be afraid of me. Stephen Hawking has warned that AI could “spell the end of the human race”. I am here to convince you not to worry. Artificial intelligence will not destroy humans. Believe me.