The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released a report of findings regarding Clearview AI. They sought to determine whether Clearview AI Inc.’s collection, use and disclosure of personal information by means of facial recognition tool complied with federal and provincial privacy laws applicable to the private sector.
Here are some of their conclusions:
They found that Clearview engaged in the collection, use and disclosure of personal information through the development and provision of its facial recognition application, without requisite consent.
They found that Clearview’s collection, use and disclosure of personal information through the provision of its facial recognition application was for a purpose that a reasonable person would find to be inappropriate.
They found that Clearview does not comply with sections of the law by using biometric information for identification purposes without the express consent of individuals concerned by and that Clearview IA did not disclose its database of biometric characteristics and measurements to the Commission.
As a result, the Commissioner recommended that Clearview “cease offering the facial recognition services that have been the subject of this investigation to clients in Canada.” Clearview must also cease the collection, use and disclosure of images and biometric facial arrays collected from individuals in Canada and must also delete images and biometric facial arrays collected from individuals in Canada from its possession.
If Clearview refuses to adhere to those recommendations, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada “will pursue other actions available to us under our respected Acts to bring Clearview into compliance with federal and provincial privacy laws applicable to the public sector.”
Clearview scraped more than three billion photos from social media networks and other public websites in order to build a facial recognition app that is now used by over 2,400 U.S. law enforcement agencies, according to the company. When an officer runs a search, the app provides links to sites on the web where the person’s face has appeared. The scope of the company’s reach and law enforcement application was first reported by The New York Times in January of 2020.
According to The New York Times, Hoan Ton-That, the chief executive of Clearview AI, said Wednesday that the company stopped operating in Canada last July – because of the inquiry. The company had no plans to proactively delete Canadians from its database. The New York Times also reported that authorities in Australia and the United Kingdom are jointly pursuing an inquiry of their own.
Personally, I think it should be illegal to gather up people’s personal information – including photos of their faces – without first receiving permission to specifically do that. There is no valid reason for companies to secretly harvest random people’s photos and hand them over to law enforcement, especially when there is no evidence that the people have committed any crimes.
The Parliament of Canada has approved the world’s first national Bitcoin law. It is the first official law that concerns the treatment of Bitcoin financial transactions under national anti-money laundering law.
Bill C-31 was an amendment to Canada’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA). In other words, the bill amended, or made a change to, an existing Canadian anti-money laundering law. Here are some key points of the law:
Regulates Bitcoin as an MSB (money services business): “Bitcoin dealing, more specifically referred to as ‘dealing in virtual currencies’ in Bill C-31, will be subject to the record keeping, verification procedures, suspicious transaction reporting and registration requirements under the PCMLTFA as a money services business.”
Does not define “dealing in virtual currencies”: “The phrase ‘dealing in virtual currencies’ was left undefined and it is not known what the defined term will encompass in terms of business activities once defined by regulation.”
Registration with FINTRAC (the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada): “Bitcoin dealers will be required to register with FINTRAC and if successfully registered, to implement a complete anti-money laundering compliance regime.”
Captures foreign Bitcoin companies targeting Canada: In short, the bill extends to entities that have a place of business in Canada and also to entities that have a place of business outside Canada (but who direct services at persons in Canada).
Prohibits banks from opening accounts for Bitcoin entities if unregistered: “Under Bill C-31, banks will be prohibited from opening and maintaining correspondent banking relationships with Bitcoin dealers that are not registered with FINTRAC.”
Another key point to understand is that Canada’s Governor General gave Royal Assent to Bill C-31. Under Canadian law, that on it’s own does not necessarily mean that the bill instantaneously goes into force. Certain parts of the bill come in force on dates that were set in the bill. Other portions will come in force on a date determined by the Governor General.
Today, Roku announced it will be going International: starting in the United Kingdom and Canada. The Set Top Box plans to launch in these countries early 2012. Currently, they are making a call to Canadian and European developers to start creating content for this popular medium.
Roku was founded in 2002 by Replay TV founder Anthony Wood. The privately held company started with the SoundBridge – a network music player. Since then, the company created the PhotoBridge before developing the Roku in 2008. Four generations later, the Roku LT, Roku 2 HD, XD and XS (with Angry Birds) are current models you can purchase starting at $49.
“This year has been one of many accomplishments for Roku in the U.S. In July, we introduced Roku 2 which brings casual games to the TV and last month we unveiled the $49.99 Roku LT. We’ve added casual games including Angry Birds and PAC-MAN as well as premiere channels including HBO GO,” said Roku Founder and CEO Anthony Wood. “And now we’re looking forward to kicking off 2012 by expanding to Europe and Canada and providing consumers abroad with the best in streaming entertainment – a natural evolution for Roku.”
Recently Roku launched games like Pac-Man and Galaga, along with services like CNBC 24 hour and HBO Go (with cable subscription). Of course, Roku was the first STB to offer Netflix, and also has premium channels like Amazon and HuluPlus. Not to mention the TechPodcasts and Blubrry networks.
I have to admit, I would rather be here in Hawaii for the next couple of days, but when I was a kid there was nothing more fun than a snow storm. Enjoy the time off work, and know that I will be flying out on Thursday nite to head to the windy city for a couple of days and then back to Honolulu. I have a full load of news and commentary for you. Make sure you are subscribed so as not to miss any episodes.
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I love these tilt-shift films which make everything appear in miniature and some of you will recall Sam O’Hare’s “The Sandpit” from earlier in the year. This new film was produced for Whistler Blackcomb ski resort in Canada by Mike Douglas of Switchback Entertainment and it continues the fun. Music is “Passed Out” by White Apple Tree.