Feeds

Congress report warns: drones will track faces from the sky

I am the eye in the sky, looking at you

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

With the FAA working on rules to integrate drones into airspace safety by 2015, the US government’s Congressional Research Service has warned of gaps in how American courts might treat the use of drones.

The snappily-headlined report, Drones in Domestic Surveillance Operations: Fourth Amendment Implications and Legislative Responses (PDF here), notes drones now in use can carry thermal imaging, high-powered cameras, license plate readers and LIDAR (light detection and ranging). “Soft” biometrics and facial recognition won’t be far behind, the report suggests, allowing drones to “recognize and track individuals based on attributes such as height, age, gender, and skin color.”

“The relative sophistication of drones contrasted with traditional surveillance technology may influence a court’s decision whether domestic drone use is lawful under the Fourth Amendment,” the report compiled by legislative attorney Richard Thompson II states.

The report expresses a view that in most cases, using drones to spy on people in their homes would have to fall within the legal “plain view” doctrine (which means police can only carry out surveillance of someone’s home from a “lawful vantage point”). However, areas nearby the home – say, in a driveway or at a gate – receive a much more ambiguous protection.

The report is also concerned that the falling cost of drones could, in itself, exacerbate privacy concerns, noting that: “access to inexpensive technology may significantly reduce budgetary concerns that once checked the government from widespread surveillance.”

The Congressional research report comes hard on the heels of a Panopticon-style FBI project became public. The Feds’ billion-dollar facial recognition “Next Generation Identification” project, described here in New Scientist.

Concerns about citizens being “droned” into a Panopticon aren’t confined to America. Following stories in the Sydney Morning Herald about the increasing adoption of unlicensed private drones in Australia, the nation's Privacy Commissioner Tim Pilgrim has called for public debate about the technology, since the use of a drone by individuals “in their private” capacity is not covered by Australia’s Privacy Act. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.