Two of the largest retail chains in the United States have stopped the sale of Chinese-made surveillance products used by the Chinese government to violate human rights. This move to ban the sale of particular Chinese surveillance goods is a direct reaction to those companies benefiting from the ongoing Uyghur genocide happening in China. Indeed, Chinese companies are both using forced labour to produce products and using those products to further suppress the Uyghurs.
The pressure from human rights groups seems to have worked to convince Best Buy and Home Depot to stop selling these goods made to oppress people.
The U.S. government says Beijing relies heavily on Hikvision, Dahua and other technology companies to supply the surveillance equipment to surveil the Uighur population. The Biden administrationcalledthe human rights abuses in Xinjiang a “genocide,” and blamed Chinese video surveillance manufacturers of having “been implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups.”
Dolkun Isa, the president of the World Uyghur Congress, welcomed the “meaningful actions” by the U.S. government with bans on forced labor and sanctions for Chinese companies, but said that it’s “unacceptable that there are still American companies directly helping further the repression.”
What you wear can impinge the ability of people to look at you. That’s been true for centuries, but today your fashion choices can actually make it harder for governments or private entities to track you throughout the day. The mass surveillance in our current society should concern you as it erodes our freedoms. One fashion designer has had enough of her liberties being attacked that the designed some flashy gear to obfuscate who you are. The clothing designed by Kate Rose confuses algorithms to think that you are something you are not, for example by wearing certain patterns a computer may think you are a car.
Use of patterning and adversarial input techniques are on the rise as computer vision analysis of everything from our faces to our license plates becomes ubiquitous for everything from marketing to state surveillance. This talk will be a highly tactical guide to give an overview of the work in the area of confounding or intentionally triggering computer vision systems with fashion. This presentation will show you the same open source guides, libraries, and resources to build your own adversarial clothing, via the process used to develop ALPR-triggering fabrics. This talk will review not only the technical and aesthetic considerations, but also getting over the manufacturing hurdle from design to prototype so you can quickly deploy your fashion hacks to the people
Surveillance capitalism benefits companies who have large datasets about what people do and where they are – without the consent of those being monitored. The pervasive modern surveillance which is around us everyday from our phones to private cameras can be connected to large corporations or governments for nefarious purposes. Sometimes it can seem innocuous (but not positive) like ads or utterly terrifying like what’s happening in China.
So what to do if you don’t want to be monitored? Step one is to constantly pester politicians about it. You can use privacy enhancing browser extensions or go a little further and get glasses that prevents cameras from seeing your face.
Today, artificial intelligence (AI) technology, such as facial recognition, has become more widespread in public and private spaces â€” including schools, retail stores, airports, concert venues and even to unlock the newest iPhones. Civil-liberty groups concerned about the potential for misuse have urged politicians to regulate the systems. A recent Washington Post investigation, for instance, revealed FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents used facial recognition to scan millions of Americansâ€™ driverâ€™s licenses without their knowledge to identify suspects and undocumented immigrants.
The motivation to seek out antidotes to an over-powerful force has political and symbolic significance for Doctorow, an L.A.-based science-fiction author and privacy advocate. His fatherâ€™s family fled the Soviet Union, which used surveillance to control the masses.
â€œWe are entirely too sanguine about the idea that surveillance technologies will be built by people we agree with for goals we are happy to support,â€ he said. â€œFor this technology to be developed and for there to be no countermeasures is a road map to tyranny.â€
Surveillance capitalism is a truly 21st century innovation which is having a major impact on society. Policies around data protection and privacy aren’t strong enough yet and trade deals don’t rightly aim to protect data privacy either. How our data is used and exploited isn’t up to us and it should be. Large corporations know more about you than you might realize and exploit that knowledge for their own gain- it doesn’t have to be that way.
How to resist collection of your behavioral data?
Solutions for consumers
Educating consumers and helping them make radical choices to influence the systems designed to harvest their data is one of the two important ways that can help us fight this crisis. We know that consumers stated privacy preferences are not reflected by the actions and choices they make, failing to act on recommendations they know would likely benefit themâ€Šâ€”â€Šthis is commonly referred to as privacy paradox. I strongly believe this is something we can change together and that process starts with you and me. With the risk of being called a naive idealist, I believe we can lead by example in getting through the pains of giving up some of the convenience and ruthless pursuit of growth, ultimately affecting the course of history that is otherwise headed towards more surveillance, concentration of knowledge and power, and unethical exploitation of the human experience.
Privacy means having the agency to choose what you share, when you share it and who you share it with. The following recommendations can guide you, as an individual towards taking back that control and helping others do the same.
Readers of this site know that I don’t like mass surveillance of human beings; however, the technology behind the tools used for intrusive observations of our private lives can be used to help animals. Henri Weimerskirch, a French ecologist, is using tons of little sensors on birds to monitor both birds and what they eat (fish). Right now we use human observation, satellites imagery, and radios to track animals. What Weimerskirch is doing now is to use mass data collection a la mass surveillance to monitor the well being of birds and fish.
The bird spies join an arsenal of technologies being used and developed around the world to catch illegal and unregistered fishing boats. The main tool right now is satellite surveillance, which has provided important big-picture data. But it relies on ships having signaling systems on boardâ€”which many unregistered vessels donâ€™t, and which can be easily switched off to provide cover for illegal activity. The information is also relatively low-resolution and only updated every few hours.
This fall, as Weimerskirchâ€™s birds begin patrolling the Indian Ocean, the waters around the Republic of Seychelles will come under new scrutiny. The government is partnering with FishGuard, a project developed by the drone company ATLAN Space and the nonprofit GRID-Arendal. The coast guard will control drones for two modes of operation: targeted missions and surveillance. In targeted use, the coast guard will send them to check out a suspicious boat thatâ€™s been previously identified. In surveillance mode, the drones will patrol a set area, and their artificial intelligence system will identify and report boats that match a registry of unregistered and illegal vessels.