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London to deploy live facial recognition to find wanted faces in a crowd

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Security cameras sit on a pole near the Houses of Parliament in the Westminster district of London, UK, on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. The Metropolitan Police will be adding new "live facial recognition" systems to their sensor collection, aimed at spotting wanted persons walking through targeted areas.
Enlarge / Security cameras sit on a pole near the Houses of Parliament in the Westminster district of London, UK, on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. The Metropolitan Police will be adding new “live facial recognition” systems to their sensor collection, aimed at spotting wanted persons walking through targeted areas.

Officials at the Metropolitan Police Service of London announced last Friday that the force will soon begin to use “Live Facial Recognition” (LFR) technology deployed around London to identify people of interest as they appear in surveillance video and alert officers to their location. The system, based on NEC’s NeoFace Watch system, will be used to check live footage for faces on a police “watch list,” a Metropolitan Police spokesperson said. The real-time facial-recognition system will target suspects in violent crimes, child exploitation cases, and missing children and vulnerable adults, among others.

The video system, the spokesperson noted in a written statement, “simply gives police officers a prompt suggesting ‘that person over there may be the person you’re looking for'” and that the decision to act on that information will always be made by officers in the field. Initially, the system will be deployed at locations “where intelligence suggests we are most likely to locate serious offenders,” the spokesperson said. “Each deployment will have a bespoke ‘watch list’ made up of images of wanted individuals, predominantly those wanted for serious and violent offenses.”

Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave said, “As a modern police force, I believe that we have a duty to use new technologies to keep people safe in London. Independent research has shown that the public support us in this regard. Prior to deployment we will be engaging with our partners and communities at a local level.” That engagement will include officers handing out leaflets explaining the program at locations where the technology is deployed.

Putting a face to a name

Live facial-recognition systems have become part of many private organizations’ internal security operations. In Las Vegas, a number of casinos have used facial-recognition systems for decades—not only to spot potential criminals but to also catch “undesirables” such as card counters and others who have been banned from the gaming floors. (I got a first-hand look at some of those early systems back in 2004 while reporting on the gaming industry’s use of facial recognition, license plate readers, and other surveillance technologies.)

Most of the earlier systems operated at relatively low rates and depended a great deal on humans in the loop to confirm results. Over the past few years, however, machine-learning-based facial-recognition systems have made live facial recognition more powerful and much more scalable.

Facial-recognition technology similar to the NEC system has already been widely deployed across China, with about 200 million cameras by the government’s own estimate. And the Metropolitan Police is no stranger to the technology—in 2015, while now-Prime Minister Boris Johnson was mayor of London, the police service asked for access to Transport for London’s automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR) camera system to perform real-time facial recognition of motorists entering London.

And while these systems have depended on government databases, private companies’ own databases of images have begun to be tapped as well. Amazon’s Rekognition system and other facial-recognition services that can process real-time streaming video have been used by US police forces as well as for commercial applications. And as the New York Times’ Kashmir Hill reported earlier this month, some US law enforcement organizations are using a service from a company called Clearview (a startup backed by Peter Thiel and co-founded by a former mayoral aide to Rudolph Giuliani) to perform facial-recognition searches against images scraped from social media and other sources.

These systems are not foolproof. They depend heavily on the quality of source data and other aspects of the video being scanned. But Ephgrave said that the Metropolitan Police is confident about the system it’s deploying—and that it’s balancing its deployment with privacy concerns.

“We are using a tried-and-tested technology and have taken a considered and transparent approach in order to arrive at this point,” said Ephgrave. For now, the system will not be tied to existing CCTV systems or other police imagery systems. The initial deployment is to be limited to cameras capturing people passing through targeted, relatively small areas.

Areas under the surveillance of the system will be marked with signs. Ephgrave said that the deployment required “that we have the right safeguards and transparency in place to ensure that we protect people’s privacy and human rights.”



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U.S. Supreme Court rejects Apple appeal in patent fight with VirnetX

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FILE PHOTO: The Apple logo is shown atop an Apple store at a shopping mall in La Jolla, California, U.S., December 17, 2019, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear Apple Inc’s bid to avoid paying about $440 million in damages for using patent licensing firm VirnetX Inc’s internet security technology without permission in features such as FaceTime video calling.

The justices rejected Apple’s appeal in the long-running case in which a federal jury in 2016 found that Apple had infringed VirnetX’s patents and awarded $302 million. A judge later increased that amount to $439.7 million including interest and other costs.

The case dates back to 2010 when Nevada-based VirnetX filed suit in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas accusing Cupertino, California-based Apple of infringing four patents for secure networks, known as virtual private networks, and secure communications links. VirnetX said Apple infringed with its FaceTime and VPN on Demand features in products such as the iPhone and iPad.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, which specializes in patent disputes, upheld the judgment against Apple last year.

During the litigation, Apple and other companies requested that a tribunal of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office review the validity of the VirnetX patents. The tribunal canceled key parts of the patents at issue in the case.

But in separate decisions also issued last year, the Federal Circuit set aside certain of the tribunal’s rulings, bringing VirnetX closer to collecting damages from Apple. Apple appealed to the Supreme Court, contending that the damages should be recalculated because the specific patents VirnetX accused it of infringing with FaceTime were nearly wiped out.

Apple in a court filing called the Federal Circuit’s refusal to entertain its demands “legally wrong and grossly unfair.” The company also said the lower courts impermissibly allowed VirnetX to request damages far beyond the value of the patented invention.

VirnetX told the justices: “The entire damages award … remains supported by claims that a jury – and the Federal Circuit – found valid years ago and that have not been canceled since.”

Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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5 amazing products at their lowest prices

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— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

Happy Monday! In my humble opinion, there’s no better way to start the week than hunting down a good deal. Not only can you get something you’ve been eyeing for a while at an incredible price, but there’s also a little excitement knowing a package will be arriving for you sometime during the week. Today’s deals are particularly exciting because you can find some of our top-tested products at their lowest prices including robot vacuums, Lodge cast iron skillets, and Roku streaming sticks. Check out all the ways you can save today.

Love a good deal?: Sign up for our weekly deals newsletter. It’s free and you can unsubscribe any time.

1. Lowest price: The best affordable robot vacuum on the market

2020 is the year I’ve decided to become a little more cleaner and organized, but being as busy as I am, the cleaning part—specifically vacuuming enough—has been left in the dust. But with a nifty robot vacuum, I could get it to do my dirty work for me before I can do a weekly (err, monthly) deep clean. Plus, you don’t even have to spend too much to get a great one. Right now, you can get our favorite affordable robot vacuum for $70 off in the color white, which is also the lowest price we’ve seen since the holidays. We love the Eufy RoboVac 11S for its great cleaning power and reasonable price, which is even more reasonable thanks to this deal.

Get the Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S for $159.99 (Save $70)

2. Under $10: Our favorite cast iron skillet

Cast iron pans are a game-changer in the kitchen. Not only can you use them on the stovetop but they can also go in the oven or on the grill, making them a versatile piece of cookware. Lodge makes the best cast iron cookware, and right now you can get this popular 8-inch skillet for just $8 and the lowest price we’ve ever seen. It’s an ideal size for baking smaller desserts or cooking a meal for one.

Get the Lodge Cast Iron 8-Inch Skillet for $7.99 (Save $2)

3. $20 off: The best affordable streaming stick

During the colder seasons, there’s nothing I want to do more than binge-watch Disney+ or Netflix and avoid going outside. For the best binge-watching experience, you’re going to want a good streaming stick to watch it on the small screen as opposed to your laptop. The Roku Streaming Stick+ is the best affordable media streaming device we’ve ever tested. It offers 4K or HDR content and has an amazing interface, which means it’s probably better than the streaming interface your Smart TV currently has Right now, you can get it for $20 off, which is its second lowest price.

Get the Roku Streaming Stick+ for $39 (Save $20.99)

4. 25% off: The best packing cubes for traveling

The most stressful part about any trip is packing. You need to figure out how you’re going to fit everything in your suitcase, and how you’re going to find what you’re looking for without making a mess once you’ve reached your destination. That’s where packing cubes come in and this set from eBags is the best one we’ve ever tested. Right now, you can get the three-piece set 20% off and the six-piece set for 25% off if you clip the on-page coupon, which is the lowest price we’ve ever seen for either. If you have any big trips planned for 2020, this deal is for you.

  • Get the eBags Three-Piece Packing Cube Value Set for $23.99 (Save $6)
  • Get the eBags Six-Piece Packing Cube Value Set for $33.74 (Save $11.25)

5. Lowest price: Our favorite classic rolling pin for baking and more

I love baking cooking, pizza making, and the like, but for some reason, I still don’t own a proper rolling pin—and let me tell you, a wine bottle just doesn’t cut it. But now is the time to finally get one because the best classic rolling pin we’ve ever tested is down to its lowest price of just $8. We love how comfortable the pin felt in our hands (read: no hand cramps) and that it was seamless to achieve the desired thickness of the dough. It’s honestly the perfect pin for any kitchen, especially at this price.

Get the Farberware Classic Wood Rolling Pin for $7.99 (Save $10) 

The product experts at Reviewed have all your shopping needs covered. Follow Reviewed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest deals, reviews, and more.

Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.



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Is There A Dangerous Link Between Corona Virus & 5G Technology? with Ole Dammegard & Special Guests

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News reports from China indicate the Corona virus is impacting virtually everything including the much debated 5G roll out, but is there a deeper connection between the feared outbreak and the controversial next generation tech?

Ole and I are joined EMF technology expert Olle Johansson and military technology expert Cody Snodgres.

Don’t miss today’s episode of Light On Conspiracies with Ole Dammeagard on SubscribeStar and Patreon

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