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Surveillance Cameras Will Soon Be Reading Our Lips

‘A Jordanian scientist has created an automated lip-reading system that can decipher speech with an average success rate of 76 per cent. The findings, in conjunction with recent advances in the fields of computer vision, pattern recognition, and signal processing, suggest that computers will soon be able to read lips accurately enough to raise questions about privacy and security.

Researcher Ahmad Hassanat from Mu’tah University in Jordan says that automated lip-reading has improved enormously in recent years, but there are still challenges in making software that can accurately connect visemes with phonemes. He says human lip readers perform best when they have an idea about the context of a conversation and a good grasp of grammar, idioms and common turns of phrase. Making a computer program that can accurately recognise these will take time, Hassanat says.

Technology that can read lips has a broad range of potential uses in human-computer interaction (a discipline that helps design new input systems to make it easier for people to control their devices), speaker recognition, sign language, and video surveillance.

Hassanat proposes that lip-reading technology could be used to help protect data by creating a “visual password”, whereby users speak a string of words into their device’s camera to help verify their identity online.

However, the idea of using lip-reading technology in surveillance “raises a whole set of privacy-related issues”, Technology Review suggests. “For example, it may be that videos of conversations without sound are impossible to interpret now but may be easy to interpret in future. How might politicians, business leaders and popular figures fair under that kind of future analysis?”

Hassanat concedes that it will be many years yet before visual speech recognition software is able to interpret speech with significantly greater accuracy than at present.

http://www.theweek.co.uk/technology/60421/lip-reading-computer-raises-privacy-fears

DHS/police are using surveillance cameras & Stingray surveillance systems to spy on Americans everywhere:

Congress and the White House need to include surveillance technologies in their inquiries. The same money that funds MRAPs and night vision goggles also funds intelligence gathering at the local level. DHS’s Homeland Security Grant Program directly funds fusion centers.

A DHS grant announcement emphasized that funding fusion centers and integrating them nationally is a high priority. And DHS Urban Area Security Initiative money funds events like Urban Shield, a 4 day long event that featured “preparedness” exercises as well as a marketplace of military and surveillance technology.

Another possible avenue for review is the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB). PCLOB asked for public comments on its proposed mid- and long-term agenda, which includes an examination of the “functional standards” used for Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR),” a program coordinated through fusion centers. EFF, along with others, submitted comments encouraging PCLOB to take a close look more generally at fusion centers. The comments emphasized that accountability for fusion centers, like all the programs reviewed in the Senate hearing, is a major problem:

The bidirectional flow of data in fusion centers, as well as interagency cooperation and jurisdictional blurriness, makes accountability and a clear understanding of the applicability of laws and regulations difficult… In the midst of this ambiguous and opaque environment, fusion centers have access to a staggering amount of data including the FBI’s eGuardian database and a variety of other federal databases. They may even potentially have access to unminimized NSA data. And as data gathered under the problematic SAR standards is entered into these databases, the lines of responsibility for unconstitutional invasions of privacy and civil liberties become ever more unclear.’

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/09/local-use-military-equipment-drawing-scrutiny-local-surveillance-equipment-and

 

Article Source: Mass Private