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Amazon Introduces 12-Months Moratorium on Using Facial Recognition Tech by Law Enforcement

Cybercriminals Exploit Black Lives Matter Campaign to Distribute Malware via Email Amid Social UnrestAmazon’s controversial face recognition tech Rekognition will not be available to use by law enforcement, the company announced on June 10th. The moratorium is year-long and was reportedly introduced to give regulators time to come up with solid ethical rules of using the tech for policing. Rekognition is Amazon’s advanced AI-based computer vision tool for photo and video analysis released in November 2016. It is a flexible technology that can be used for tasks like face recognition, sentiment analysis, text analysis, object pathing in video frames, and such. Microsoft, IBM, and Google have their own computer vision systems, so do a number of smaller narrower-focus companies. The capabilities of Rekognition and similar systems are fascinating, but there are technical and ethical challenges that become especially apparent in law enforcement applications. Importantly, automatic recognition systems are prone to biases and mistakes. As shown in the 2018 Gender Shades study by MIT researchers Joy Buolamwini and Timnit Gebru, the accuracy of face recognition results depends greatly on the race and gender of the person in analyzed photos. Initially, the researchers have compared solutions from Face++, IBM, and Microsoft, then followed the paper up with data on  Kairos, and Amazon Rekognition systems in January 2019. Both parts of the study highlighted the fact that, although improving over time, face recognition solutions perform best on white male faces, struggling to accurately identify photos of females with darker faces. In another 2018 test, this time by the ACLU, Rekognition was tasked with matching photos of the U.S. Congress members with 25,000 of publicly available mugshots. As a result, the system found 28 matches, where it should’ve found none. Again, people of color were disproportionately misidentified comprising 38% of false matches, while representing only 20% of Congress. In 2020, a similar test by Comparitech involving 430 Representatives and 100 Senators in the U.S. dataset. In the test, the Rekognition system was outputting 32 incorrect matches on average at an 80% confidence threshold. Given the racial bias issues associated with law enforcement, these flaws of face recognition tech have great potential to cause harm and ultimately widen the gap between police forces and the communities they ought to protect. Concerns about the use of Rekognition by police departments across the U.S. have been around at least since 2018. Back then, the ACLU found documents indicating that since 2017 Washington County sheriff and the city of Orlando have been using the technology to match photos and videos of suspects with mugshot databases. Washington County Sheriff’s Office listing among Rekognition customers Washington County Sheriff’s Office listing among Rekognition customers. Source: Amazon Later in 2018, pushed by the tech’s potential to cause privacy and human rights issues, Amazon’s own shareholders and employees called against marketing Rekognition to government agencies like ICE and DHS.

“In the face of this immoral U.S. policy, and the U.S.’s increasingly inhumane treatment of refugees and immigrants beyond this specific policy, we are deeply concerned that Amazon is implicated, providing infrastructure and services that enable ICE and DHS,” an internal letter from Amazon employees to Jeff Bezos said.

Unfortunately, there is no concrete number of law enforcement agencies in the U.S. using Recognition. Even Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, said he doesn’t know for sure:

“I don’t think we know the total number of police departments that are using [Amazon’s] facial recognition technology. We have 165 services in our technology infrastructure platform, and you can use them in any combination you want.”

Now, in June 2020, while the U.S. is engulfed in protests against systemic misconduct and racial bias on the part of law enforcement, Amazon puts Rekognition use by police on hold with a year-long moratorium. The single reason cited in the announcement is to give the regulators time to introduce appropriate rules.

“We’ve advocated that governments should put in place stronger regulations to govern the ethical use of facial recognition technology, and in recent days, Congress appears ready to take on this challenge. We hope this one-year moratorium might give Congress enough time to implement appropriate rules, and we stand ready to help if requested,” the company’s announcement reads.

While barring the police from using Rekognition, Amazon will continue to provide the service for humanitarian organizations:

“We will continue to allow organizations like Thorn, the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and Marinus Analytics to use Amazon Rekognition to help rescue human trafficking victims and reunite missing children with their families,” the announcement elaborates.

Notably, two days prior to Amazon’s announcement, IBM decided to shut down its face recognition development because of poor accuracy and ethical concerns emphasized by the ongoing situation in the U.S. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and join our Telegram channel to know what’s up with crypto and why it’s important.

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Cybercriminals Exploit Black Lives Matter Campaign to Distribute Malware via Email Amid Social UnrestAmazon’s controversial face recognition tech Rekognition will not be available to use by law enforcement, the company announced on June 10th. The moratorium is year-long and was reportedly introduced to give regulators time to come up with solid ethical rules of using the tech for policing. Rekognition is Amazon’s advanced AI-based computer vision tool for photo and video analysis released in November 2016. It is a flexible technology that can be used for tasks like face recognition, sentiment analysis, text analysis, object pathing in video frames, and such. Microsoft, IBM, and Google have their own computer vision systems, so do a number of smaller narrower-focus companies. The capabilities of Rekognition and similar systems are fascinating, but there are technical and ethical challenges that become especially apparent in law enforcement applications. Importantly, automatic recognition systems are prone to biases and mistakes. As shown in the 2018 Gender Shades study by MIT researchers Joy Buolamwini and Timnit Gebru, the accuracy of face recognition results depends greatly on the race and gender of the person in analyzed photos. Initially, the researchers have compared solutions from Face++, IBM, and Microsoft, then followed the paper up with data on  Kairos, and Amazon Rekognition systems in January 2019. Both parts of the study highlighted the fact that, although improving over time, face recognition solutions perform best on white male faces, struggling to accurately identify photos of females with darker faces. In another 2018 test, this time by the ACLU, Rekognition was tasked with matching photos of the U.S. Congress members with 25,000 of publicly available mugshots. As a result, the system found 28 matches, where it should’ve found none. Again, people of color were disproportionately misidentified comprising 38% of false matches, while representing only 20% of Congress. In 2020, a similar test by Comparitech involving 430 Representatives and 100 Senators in the U.S. dataset. In the test, the Rekognition system was outputting 32 incorrect matches on average at an 80% confidence threshold. Given the racial bias issues associated with law enforcement, these flaws of face recognition tech have great potential to cause harm and ultimately widen the gap between police forces and the communities they ought to protect. Concerns about the use of Rekognition by police departments across the U.S. have been around at least since 2018. Back then, the ACLU found documents indicating that since 2017 Washington County sheriff and the city of Orlando have been using the technology to match photos and videos of suspects with mugshot databases. Washington County Sheriff’s Office listing among Rekognition customers Washington County Sheriff’s Office listing among Rekognition customers. Source: Amazon Later in 2018, pushed by the tech’s potential to cause privacy and human rights issues, Amazon’s own shareholders and employees called against marketing Rekognition to government agencies like ICE and DHS.

“In the face of this immoral U.S. policy, and the U.S.’s increasingly inhumane treatment of refugees and immigrants beyond this specific policy, we are deeply concerned that Amazon is implicated, providing infrastructure and services that enable ICE and DHS,” an internal letter from Amazon employees to Jeff Bezos said.

Unfortunately, there is no concrete number of law enforcement agencies in the U.S. using Recognition. Even Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, said he doesn’t know for sure:

“I don’t think we know the total number of police departments that are using [Amazon’s] facial recognition technology. We have 165 services in our technology infrastructure platform, and you can use them in any combination you want.”

Now, in June 2020, while the U.S. is engulfed in protests against systemic misconduct and racial bias on the part of law enforcement, Amazon puts Rekognition use by police on hold with a year-long moratorium. The single reason cited in the announcement is to give the regulators time to introduce appropriate rules.

“We’ve advocated that governments should put in place stronger regulations to govern the ethical use of facial recognition technology, and in recent days, Congress appears ready to take on this challenge. We hope this one-year moratorium might give Congress enough time to implement appropriate rules, and we stand ready to help if requested,” the company’s announcement reads.

While barring the police from using Rekognition, Amazon will continue to provide the service for humanitarian organizations:

“We will continue to allow organizations like Thorn, the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and Marinus Analytics to use Amazon Rekognition to help rescue human trafficking victims and reunite missing children with their families,” the announcement elaborates.

Notably, two days prior to Amazon’s announcement, IBM decided to shut down its face recognition development because of poor accuracy and ethical concerns emphasized by the ongoing situation in the U.S. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and join our Telegram channel to know what’s up with crypto and why it’s important. Source: https://forklog.media/amazon-introduces-12-months-moratorium-on-using-facial-recognition-tech-by-law-enforcement/

Blockchain

Tezos price looking at 20% bounce after holding $2.0 level

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XTZ/USD price has declined 5% today but could rebound by more than 20% if bulls maintain upward pressure towards a key level

The price of Tezos’ token XTZ is changing hands around $2.13, up from 24 – hour lows of $2.04 registered yesterday. The token’s price however remains nearly 5% down during this period.

The downtrend witnessed over the past week had seen Tezos bulls finding it hard to crack resistance at a key level, which meant a potential retest of recent lows.

XTZ/USD on the 1 – hour price chart suggests an ascending parallel channel is forming. However, the upside is capped around the current price level, with the SMA50 and SMA100 providing key hurdles. The bounce on the hourly chart is likely to happen given the upturned RSI.

A break above the moving averages could see buyers push for prices around $2.2, which suggests a 20% uptick from current levels.

XTZ/USD 1-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The outlook on the 4 – hour chart is also positive as seen in the three green candles with lower highs and higher lows. It appears that the bulls are trying to defend gains after slipping below the SMA50, SMA100 and SMA200.

The moving averages are clustered around $2.18 and $2.22, which means a break above these levels could give bulls the motivation to attack resistance around $2.40. The MACD is suggesting a bullish divergence, while the RSI remains upturned after climbing out of the oversold territory.

Although bulls are targeting a break above $2.2, the outlook will turn bearish if downward pressure cracks the lower limit of the formed ascending parallel channel.

In this case, bulls will have to defend the support zone around $2.10 below while bears could easily plunge XTZ/USD to $2.04. An extended downside means that the next target for bears is $1.9.

Altcoins seeing red

As the Bitcoin price looks to hold gains above $12,000, most altcoins are registering losses or insignificant upsides which suggests that the money is flowing into the top cryptocurrency.

Ethereum’s price as a percentage of Bitcoin is down to about 3%, with the Ether bulls likely to cede the initiative to the bears if the price tanks below $350.

Zcash (ZEC) and NEM (XEM) are among the biggest losers with their respective prices tanking by more than 10% in the past 24 hours. ChainLink (LINK), Filecoin (FIL), and Crypto.com Coin (CRO) are down 4%-7% on the day.

Among the top 20, TRON (TRX) with +3.5% and Litecoin (LTC) with +1.6% on the day are showing signs of strength.

While top altcoins continue to struggle, nearly $2 billion has been wiped off the total altcoin market cap in just 24 hours. Meanwhile, Bitcoin’s dominance index has jumped to 60.6%, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Source: https://coinjournal.net/news/tezos-price-looking-at-20-bounce-after-holding-2-0-level/

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Bitcoin SV, Stellar Lumens, Dogecoin Price Analysis: 21 October

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As Bitcoin closed above $12,000 once more, it was pertinent to ask if the altcoin market would follow. Would traders sell altcoins to follow Bitcoin’s gains? The rising Bitcoin Dominance suggested, yes. Bitcoin SV formed a bullish divergence and made gains in the past few hours, while Stellar Lumens witnessed strong buying volume. Dogecoin was making some gains in the short-term, but the longer-term bearish trend also loomed over the asset.

Bitcoin SV [BSV]

Bitcoin SV, Stellar Lumens, Dogecoin Price Analysis: 21 October

Source: BSV/USDT on TradingView

BSV slipped beneath the short-term range from $158 to $174. However, the asset’s sellers were unable to drive prices lower as the RSI signaled a bullish divergence which saw BSV reclaim the range’s low.

The RSI moved past 50 to indicate bullish momentum, and BSV could see steady gains in the coming days alongside a bullish Bitcoin.

On the other hand, if BSV stalled at $158 for a couple of days, it might indicate that the price was headed lower.

Stellar Lumens [XLM]

Bitcoin SV, Stellar Lumens, Dogecoin Price Analysis: 21 October

Source: XLM/USD on TradingView

Both the CMF and the OBV highlighted the strong buying present behind XLM’s recent move from $0.072 to $0.086. The OBV has set higher lows (white), and the outlook for the asset would be bullish in the coming days provided OBV does not dip beneath the ascending trendline.

The CMF showed neutrality at press time as buyers and sellers were in equilibrium in the market.

The price would have to close above $0.084

Dogecoin [DOGE]

Bitcoin SV, Stellar Lumens, Dogecoin Price Analysis: 21 October

Source: DOGE/USDT on TradingView

DOGE was moving in an ascending channel as the level of $0.00257 was defended once more. The Directional Movement Index picked up steam as the ADX (yellow) moved above 20, indicating a strong trend was in progress. +DI (blue) highlighted the bullish nature of the trend.

Trading volumes have not been standstill in the past few days either, showing legitimate interest behind the asset in its most recent bounce.

The asset also posted a new low against BTC recently as Bitcoin surged past $12,200 while DOGE languished at support. DOGE/BTC was last trading at this value in 2017, December.

Source: https://eng.ambcrypto.com/bitcoin-sv-stellar-lumens-dogecoin-price-analysis-21-october

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Bitcoin’s Record-Breaking Run Attracts More Wall Street Money

Bitcoin’s hot streak is proving an irresistible prospect for Wall Street investors while stocks and shares slip and slide.

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In brief

  • AAX continues its record-breaking run above $10,000.
  • Institutional investors continue to flock to the cryptocurrency as a hedge against rocky stock markets.
  • Euro stocks slide as further lockdowns seem increasingly likely.

Just yesterday the Decrypt Market Watch was talking about Bitcoin’s stellar performance, especially when compared to stocks and shares. Today its run of good fortune continues, shooting past the $12,000 mark for the third time in 2020. 

While you may be thinking, “so what, it’s done this before!” This time things are different. Bitcoin has been above $10,000 for 83 consecutive days, beating out the previous record of 62 days set in the halcyon era of December 2017. 

Another point of note is Bitcoin’s stability relative to the last time it passed the $12k mark. In August this year, the price pinged around the $12k before sliding down aggressively. In the last 30 days, volatility has stuck around 1.5% – putting it within touching distance of gold’s 1.2% monthly volatility. Bitcoin’s price fluctuations are evening out, for now at least.

“Previous instances when Bitcoin has been this high, it’s been followed by significant drops, which keeps investors from seeing the asset as a genuine hedge against market fluctuations elsewhere in their portfolio. But this time the signals appear to suggest things are more stable,” says a spokesperson from AAX, the world’s first digital asset exchange powered by the London Stock Exchange.

It’s no wonder investors are piling in. The number of Bitcoin addresses holding more than 0.1 coins, (currently about $1,188) has hit an all-time high, and the number of addresses holding more than 100 coins (currently $1,188 million) has reached a six-month high, according to Glassnode. 

That’s been reflected at the institutional end, too. The total value of assets managed by crypto-focused investment company Grayscale reached $6.5 billion for the first time, according to the firm.

The biggest of the company’s trusts by far—Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC)—currently exceeds $5.4 billion. According to Bitcoin Treasuries, publicly traded companies, including Grayscale, now hold a total of 785,999 BTC—worth around $9.18 billion currently. And the number keeps on growing. 

It’s little surprise when you see the jitters in the stock markets. 

Stocks still looking for clarity over US stimulus

We’ve seen the impacts of what happens when a senior US official talks about Bitcoin, but political posturing is a daily occurrence in fiat markets. 

While several indices in Asia had risen in partnership with US markets on stimulus hopes for the COVID stricken economy, European stocks slid in early trading.  

The FTSE 100 dropped 1.3% as a rising pound ate into export-focused stocks, while Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 also lost similar numbers as new lockdowns appear increasingly likely across the continent. 

One note of consolation for investors is the US election is due to take place as planned on November 3. Whatever happens, it will likely give investors much-needed clarity over when and if there will be fresh fiscal stimulus. For crypto investors however, November 5 would mark the 100th day above $10,000.

You choose which is the better omen. 

Sponsored by AAX

This sponsored article was created by Decrypt Studio. Learn More about partnering with Decrypt Studio.

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