A set of smart vending machines at the University of Waterloo is expected to be removed from campus after students raised privacy concerns about their software.

The machines have M&M artwork on them and sell chocolate and other candy. They are located throughout campus, including in the Modern Languages building and Hagey Hall.

Earlier this month, a student noticed an error message on one of the machines in the Modern Languages building. It appeared to indicate there was a problem with a facial recognition application.

“We wouldn’t have known if it weren’t for the application error. There’s no warning here,” said River Stanley, a fourth-year student, who investigated the machines for an article in the university publication, mathNEWS.

  • @ikidd
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    913 months ago

    A massive and punitive fine for anyone gathering biometric data without express permssion would be a great way to discourage other companies from bringing that shit around. A billion or two ought to do it.

    • @Death_Equity
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      3 months ago

      Your face is not private, nor are your fingerprints. In public and in many private properties that are open to the public(e.g. stores) you have no expectation of privacy so you can be filmed within the law. You consent to facial recognition by passive agreement when you enter the public without your face covered.

      Facial recognition technology is everywhere and there is nothing that will be done to curb it’s use.

      Edit: To be clear, I do not support anyone or any entity using biometric data for any purpose except verification of identity for security purposes with intentional consent. Businesses or government using biometric data, or any data obtained without clear and willful consent, is unacceptable.

        • @[email protected]
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          -193 months ago

          It’s not apathy, it’s an observation of the legal status of the situation.

          Legally, you have no reasonable expectations of privacy in a public space, and as such anyone is free to record you. I don’t think fingerprint data being collected from devices available to the public has been tried in court yet, but audio and video recordings certainly have been.

          It’s actually a good thing. Imagine if it was illegal for you to video cops.

          • queermunist she/her
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            3 months ago

            Legality can change, that’s literally what we’re talking about. It’s legal now, it doesn’t have to be.

            Also just declare that cops don’t have a right to privacy. Easy.

            • @okamiueru
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              3 months ago

              You are so right. I’m dumbfounded by how apathetic Americans are when it comes to politics. The idea of making the change you want to see, seems like a foreign concept. This will bring in a lot of downvotes, but I’d be happy to find some kind of online community that excludes Americans. And, I don’t mean by nationality, or even geography. Just this… acceptance of political depravity. In the US, you get the choice between “bat shit insane”. And, if don’t like that, you can vote Republican instead, which is orders of magnitude worse, with layers of vile shit. I’m tired. Most problems are so simple to solve. But the arguments are always presented between two things that don’t matter.

              Good luck. I’m gonna see if there is a lemmy community that actively blocks “American mentality”. Which is hilarious, because a lot of Americans express that lemmy is “extremely communist / anti capitalist” etc. Which is just what “common sense” looks like to Americans.

          • @Death_Equity
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            43 months ago

            Most states do not have any laws which restrict how biometrics are used. So using your fingerprint, face, or iris to checkout at the store doesn’t have any protections that would prevent that biometric data from being sent somewhere else, including the police. A store could gather facial or even iris data from a camera and you would have no idea because they don’t have to tell you.

            Worse is that most people don’t see the problem with the digital panopticon because “they haven’t done anything wrong” and they are willing to give up their data for the idea of a theoretical safety.

          • Kilgore Trout
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            13 months ago

            Because the United States are the only country in the world.

            In Italy it is illegal to share recordings in public without the recorded people’s consent.

            “Cops” are public servants, as such it is always allowed to record and share.

      • @Doug7070
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        303 months ago

        There is a massive fundamental difference between having a person see your face in public, or even having a basic security camera record your face, and having a system recognize your biometric data and stalk you through every public environment with extreme precision.

        The general public should absolutely not accept the imposition of being expected to be followed through every public place by private corporate entities for undisclosed purposes. We can and should aggressively push government representatives to take strong regulatory action to outlaw this behavior and aggressively punish violations.

        Will making these efforts actually change matters? Maybe, maybe not. Will throwing your hands up and just assuming it’s impossible to change anything and that we should all just lay down and accept it as fact lead to the worst possible outcome? Absolutely.

      • AwkwardLookMonkeyPuppet
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        103 months ago

        Your face, retinas, and fingerprints are keys to unlock digital assets.

        • @Death_Equity
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          53 months ago

          Using those biometrics to access anything without a warrant is legal and not protected by the 4th or 5th amendments.

      • @[email protected]
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        93 months ago

        That’s where the laws come in. I don’t agree that recording and biometric information on people should be legally protected, unless you ask for permission first.