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posted by janrinok on Sunday December 15 2019, @08:44AM   Printer-friendly
from the we-can-see-you dept.

Submitted via IRC for chromas

The US, like China, has about one surveillance camera for every four people, says report

One billion surveillance cameras will be deployed globally by 2021, according to data compiled by IHS Markit and first reportedby The Wall Street Journal. China's installed base is expected to rise to over 560 million cameras by 2021, representing the largest share of surveillance devices installed globally, with the US rising to around 85 million cameras. When taking populations into account, however, China will continue to have nearly the same ratio of cameras to citizens as the US.

In 2018, China had 350 million cameras installed for an estimated one camera for every 4.1 people. That compared to one for every 4.6 people in the US where 70 million cameras were installed. Taiwan was third in terms of penetration with one camera for every 5.5 citizens in 2018, followed by the UK and Ireland (1:6.5) and Singapore (1:7.1).

China's installed base of cameras has recently risen 70 percent, while the US increased by nearly 50 percent.

"During the past few years, coverage of the surveillance market has focused heavily on China's massive deployments of cameras and artificial intelligence (AI) technology," said IHS Markit analyst Oliver Philippou. "What's received far less attention is the high level of penetration of surveillance cameras in the United States. With the US nearly on par with China in terms of camera penetration, future debate over mass surveillance is likely to concern America as much as China."

There is a difference in how the cameras are implemented, though. In China, most cameras are installed for the purposes of widespread video surveillance of cities, whereas cameras installed in the US are primarily for the purposes of retail and commercial usage. Notably, the Chinese government is reportedly using cameras with facial recognition to profile and track members of Muslim minority groups, a million or more of whom are being rounded up and detained in indoctrination camps.

US cities are split currently on how to deal with facial recognition. As reported by the WSJ, cities like Detroit; Washington, DC; and Orlando are testing it for policing and security, while others, like San Francisco, have officially banned it. IHS Markit says only 3 percent of security cameras installed in the US are for the purposes of city-wide surveillance.


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AWS Facial Recognition Platform Misidentified Over 100 Politicians As Criminals:

Comparitech's Paul Bischoff found that Amazon's facial recognition platform misidentified an alarming number of people, and was racially biased.

Facial recognition technology is still misidentifying people at an alarming rate – even as it's being used by police departments to make arrests. In fact, Paul Bischoff, consumer privacy expert with Comparitech, found that Amazon's face recognition platform incorrectly misidentified more than 100 photos of US and UK lawmakers as criminals.

Rekognition, Amazon's cloud-based facial recognition platform that was first launched in 2016, has been sold and used by a number of United States government agencies, including ICE and Orlando, Florida police, as well as private entities. In comparing photos of a total of 1,959 US and UK lawmakers to subjects in an arrest database, Bischoff found that Rekognition misidentified at average of 32 members of Congress. That's four more than a similar experiment conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – two years ago. Bischoff also found that the platform was racially biased, misidentifying non-white people at a higher rate than white people.

These findings have disturbing real-life implications. Last week, the ACLU shed light on Detroit citizen Robert Julian-Borchak Williams, who was arrested after a facial recognition system falsely matched his photo with security footage of a shoplifter.

The Panopticon is Already Here: China's Use of "Artificial Intelligence" 89 comments

The Panopticon Is Already Here (archive)

Xi Jinping is using artificial intelligence to enhance his government's totalitarian control—and he's exporting this technology to regimes around the globe.

[...] Xi has said that he wants China, by year's end, to be competitive with the world's AI leaders, a benchmark the country has arguably already reached. And he wants China to achieve AI supremacy by 2030.

Xi's pronouncements on AI have a sinister edge. Artificial intelligence has applications in nearly every human domain, from the instant translation of spoken language to early viral-outbreak detection. But Xi also wants to use AI's awesome analytical powers to push China to the cutting edge of surveillance. He wants to build an all-seeing digital system of social control, patrolled by precog algorithms that identify potential dissenters in real time.

[...] China already has hundreds of millions of surveillance cameras in place. Xi's government hopes to soon achieve full video coverage of key public areas. Much of the footage collected by China's cameras is parsed by algorithms for security threats of one kind or another. In the near future, every person who enters a public space could be identified, instantly, by AI matching them to an ocean of personal data, including their every text communication, and their body's one-of-a-kind protein-construction schema. In time, algorithms will be able to string together data points from a broad range of sources—travel records, friends and associates, reading habits, purchases—to predict political resistance before it happens. China's government could soon achieve an unprecedented political stranglehold on more than 1 billion people.

Early in the coronavirus outbreak, China's citizens were subjected to a form of risk scoring. An algorithm assigned people a color code—green, yellow, or red—that determined their ability to take transit or enter buildings in China's megacities. In a sophisticated digital system of social control, codes like these could be used to score a person's perceived political pliancy as well.

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  • (Score: 2) by Mojibake Tengu on Sunday December 15 2019, @11:02AM

    by Mojibake Tengu (8598) on Sunday December 15 2019, @11:02AM (#932335) Journal

    How could one ban a program, if someone else holds good data to it?

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by looorg on Sunday December 15 2019, @11:20AM (6 children)

    by looorg (578) on Sunday December 15 2019, @11:20AM (#932336)

    Silly comparison. I'm fairly sure, without even checking, that the cameras are not evenly distributed among the population but are in large focused in certain areas. Those are probably heavy population density areas but it's still not covering the population in general as predicted here, but instead it's more probable then that it's a lesser amount of people that gets watched by the cameras over and over and over again. While some are never or rarely seen on camera. It would make a lot more sense perhaps to see how many cameras there are per m^2 or if you could calculate camera density based on their location.

    whereas cameras installed in the US are primarily for the purposes of retail and commercial usage.

    IHS Markit says only 3 percent of security cameras installed in the US are for the purposes of city-wide surveillance.

    Until said commercial camera operators figure out they can sell their footage and then they become surveillance by proxy? Hiding behind the guise of just being for retail and commercial purpose and usage.

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Sunday December 15 2019, @11:56AM (4 children)

      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Sunday December 15 2019, @11:56AM (#932341) Homepage
      I'm wondering if the commercial ones are worth it as they cost money but let you get a better deal with your insurance company? (Otherwise, if it was just the deterrant effect, you'd buy fakes for next to nothing.)

      In which case, do dashcams also count?

      And I think every car in Russia must have a dashcam now, for the above reason (or premiums are prohibitively expensive without one) - in which case, shouldn't Russia be right at the top of the list?
      --
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      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Sunday December 15 2019, @12:45PM (1 child)

        by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Sunday December 15 2019, @12:45PM (#932349) Journal

        Total dashcam surveillance gives us good footage of meteor explosions [wikipedia.org].

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        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Sunday December 15 2019, @04:43PM

          by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Sunday December 15 2019, @04:43PM (#932410) Homepage
          And my late-night entertainment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQ6ifU4et3g
          It's remarkable how relaxing carnage is. I suspect I'm never gonna watch a hollywood action blockbuster again, their stuff is so fake.
          --
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      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by fyngyrz on Sunday December 15 2019, @02:27PM

        by fyngyrz (6567) on Sunday December 15 2019, @02:27PM (#932368) Journal

        I'm wondering if the commercial ones are worth it as they cost money but let you get a better deal with your insurance company? (Otherwise, if it was just the deterrant[sic] effect, you'd buy fakes for next to nothing.)

        We have a 16-camera system. 1080p cameras, analog, high-IR coverage at night. We have 14 of the cameras at the six outside corners of the building and covering our parking and approaches to the property. All the cameras are recorded 24/7, with about a week's capacity on all 16 channels. The security system's backup power, recording engine and media are all physically inaccessible to intruders. There's no network access of any kind.

        The camera placement was carefully considered, as the building is an odd shape (it used to be a church... the windows are too high off the floor to see out of, and they are stained glass anyway, so the security system also serves as our "windows", courtesy of four strategically placed monitors inside the building.) I'd like to have more cameras, but we have at least decent coverage with 16 cameras. I've been considering a second system to add another 16 cameras, which would really give us excellent coverage. I'll probably do it.

        We used to have a 16-camera NTSC video-based system in the same positions; They weren't high enough quality to be useful to identify anyone beyond just a few feet, or read license plates under any conditions. I don't consider them to have been a good investment at all. They caught some vandalism, but the recorded video was useless in identifying the perpetrator. That was very frustrating. So when HD security systems became available, I immediately purchased one.

        Those HD cameras are something else entirely.

        Twice, they've recorded miscreants in the act. One of those was just vicious-minded vandalism. The perpetrator was caught because we had excellent quality footage, and was made to pay restitution for the damage. He otherwise got off with probation. The other was a robbery, where my car was broken into and the electronics stolen. Those people — there were two of them — are serving time. My insurance paid for the loss and damage, which was considerable, much more than the security system cost, which was under $1000.00 USD, including all 16 cameras and the cabling.

        I live in a low-population town in a red US state (Montana), and the bubbas here are exactly that type of fool who thinks taking a baseball bat to a mailbox or shooting holes in signs is high entertainment. Depending on your own circumstance, a security system could easily pay for itself with only one event.

        The police came and asked us once if we had footage of a hit and run that took place in view of one of the corner cameras; we did. I happily gave them a copy of that segment of the video; it had caught the license place, too. That resulted in jail time. Well deserved. I did have to appear in court and attest to the source of the video. Not a problem.

        What you have to determine is, what's your estimation of the likelihood of an event where camera footage could make a difference for you. It's all down to individual circumstances, and just how well you can estimate your own odds.

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        All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 16 2019, @12:24AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 16 2019, @12:24AM (#932558)

        Perhaps insurance companies should consider providing dashcams to make it easier for drivers to have them?

        If my insurance company offered me a dashcam along with replacement parts when maintenance was needed I might be tempted to use it.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Sunday December 15 2019, @12:38PM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Sunday December 15 2019, @12:38PM (#932346) Journal

      Xinjiang is like a pilot total surveillance program and there will eventually be cameras everywhere in China, including the villages.

      https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/in-the-age-of-ai/ [pbs.org]

      Sounds like the U.S. is lagging behind, but newer generations of equipment should make it easier to share footage with law enforcement. Maybe with a tax writeoff as an incentive.

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      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15 2019, @02:30PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15 2019, @02:30PM (#932370)

    "One user, at least one CPU." --> "One user, at least one camera."

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15 2019, @03:26PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15 2019, @03:26PM (#932381)

    It's a bit different if the gov needs to get a court order to get the data.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15 2019, @06:16PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15 2019, @06:16PM (#932433)

      A few years ago a camera was placed on every traffic light in our county, that's 4 for every intersection. It's not the CalTrans webcams, these are city or county installed. You can't find any reference to them nor any notice that they were even installed.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15 2019, @06:39PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15 2019, @06:39PM (#932439)

        Are you sure these are cameras? Around here (NY State), some traffic lights have sensors for emergency vehicles. Somehow (not sure), they respond to strobe lights or something, and lock down the intersection (red in all directions). Then the emergency vehicle can get through, by driving on the wrong side(s) of the road.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15 2019, @10:10PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15 2019, @10:10PM (#932497)

          They were installed next to the slim strobe sensors. Definitely a webcam.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15 2019, @06:43PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15 2019, @06:43PM (#932441)

    It takes three cameras to capture the typical fat-ass American.

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15 2019, @10:07PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 15 2019, @10:07PM (#932494)

      I have a fat cock too; America ftw...

  • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Monday December 16 2019, @10:55AM

    by darkfeline (1030) on Monday December 16 2019, @10:55AM (#932785) Homepage

    China kind of has way more people than the US, but similar area. It doesn't make sense to measure camera coverage per capita. Consider: one camera in a small room with ten people vs one camera in a mansion with one person. The latter has a higher camera count per capita, but with significantly less surveillance coverage.

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