CCTV + Lip-Reading Software = Even Less Privacy, Even More Surveillance
from the HAL-would-be-proud dept
Techdirt has written a number of stories about facial recognition software being paired with CCTV cameras in public and private places. As the hardware gets cheaper and more powerful, and the algorithms underlying recognition become more reliable, it’s likely that the technology will be deployed even more routinely. But if you think loss of public anonymity is the end of your troubles, you might like to think again:
Lip-reading CCTV software could soon be used to capture unsuspecting customer’s private conversations about products and services as they browse in high street stores.
Security experts say the technology will offer companies the chance to collect more “honest” market research but privacy campaigners have described the proposals as “creepy” and “completely irresponsible”.
That story from the Sunday Herald in Scotland focuses on the commercial “opportunities” this technology offers. It’s easy to imagine the future scenarios as shop assistants are primed to descend upon people who speak favorably about goods on sale, or who express a wish for something that is not immediately visible to them. But even more troubling are the non-commercial uses, for example when applied to CCTV feeds supposedly for “security” purposes.
How companies and law enforcement use CCTV+lip-reading software will presumably be subject to legislation, either existing or introduced specially. But given the lax standards for digital surveillance, and the apparent presumption by many state agencies that they can listen to anything they are able to grab, it would be naïve to think they won’t deploy this technology as much as they can. In fact, they probably already have.
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Filed Under: cctv, facial recognition, lip reading, surveillance
Comments on “CCTV + Lip-Reading Software = Even Less Privacy, Even More Surveillance”
Why am I not surprised?
Of course, it’s the UK.
Just wait, it will get worse
Tech has already been developed to watch your pupil dilation in response to visual images to determine your sexual orientation. Ads will start outing people that have not outed themselves yet.
Re: Just wait, it will get worse
Among many other reasons that is why many of us don’t watch ads, block youtube ads, use adblockers, and evade any kind of publicity and propaganda like the plague, even on the street.
Aaaaannd lip-reading software means that your speech is stored as searchable text in a database. Linked to you via your purchases or through facial recognition.
Then sold to information brokers who will monetize it by using it to advise others on whether you should be granted a loan or a job.
Looks like sunglasses and surgical face masks will become the norm for everyone now, eh?
I would think these would work better, and it fits the nation!
I was just thinking “Oh great, next thing you know there will be the ‘hacker lip balm'”
I guess wearing a surgical mask is much easier than coming up with some other way to trick it. Although part of me still wants to see the guy walking around with bright glittery lipstick on to mess with the cameras.
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It’s already a thing. Now it might become a big thing.
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Ventrilliquism as an art has given me the ability to lip in spanish while actually communicating in english with a french accent.
I think I’ll start muttering randomly when I’m out shopping too.
“shite” “what a load of pish” “I wish Donald Trump was here”
That last one will really confuse them when I’m buying women’s underwear.
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Bet it won’t!
Eventually, our governments will turn us all into ‘Ted Kaczynski, DDS’.
Sunglasses and chewing gum will make the trick.
This is how retail outlets like Walmart can help out poor little Amazon and other web retails. Make customers feel even more uncomfortable in the store.
Re: Market Push
It’s to encourage you to use their drone delivery service.
Wait until the Walmart stores close as stores and become centers for rfid implantations. Then we can talk uncomfortable..
Maybe we’ll need to wear them so that we can talk to one another and prevent the transmission of communicable diseases.
We'll have to name the system.
May I suggest Hal 9000?
Re: We'll have to name the system.
Hal 9000 only looked like it worked.. in real life Hal was a pencil sharpener.
Re: We'll have to name the system.
Spoilers. Spoilers everywhere.
Re: Re: We'll have to name the system.
Just so. Have some sympathy for those of us waiting for the copyright to run out before viewing.
Let’s actually break this story down to it’s parts, shall we? Let’s run it against against non-tech versions of the same thing to see what it really means.
First and foremost, anyone practiced in the art of lip reading can figure out what you are saying. So nothing new under the sun here. It’s been going on for centuries, from what I gather.
CCTV? Been around for a very long time, and it’s really only a technology improvement over an observant police officer. Again, nothing new under the sun, police men (and women) have stood on the corner watching things for a very long time indeed.
So what we in fact have here isn’t anything new except for “technology allows it / does it faster / better / more”. Yet, it has been a standard argument around these parts of years that (as an example) piracy is something you have to live with because technology allows it. You get the good with the bad, right?
It’s all of the benefits of technology, and all it’s doing is what was already done, just an a much higher volume and potential.
See the “IoT spying” story for more. Basically, you give up more about yourself willingly than anyone will scoop off of you in this manner. Worry about the big stuff, not the details!
lol seriously? You started well and derailed and crashed spectacularly in the middle of the 3rd phrase. That was entertaining.
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No, it was a poor start as well.
Obvious troll is obvious.
Calm your tits, NSA fanboy.
It would be nice if you didn’t have to make shit up about what other people say to have an argument to excrete out. But, you find the need constantly, it’s pretty sad.
If only you could retrieve the time and effort you wasted on lies to address the points being discussed in reality.
A while back they started getting lip-reading experts to find out what soccer players, coaches and judges/arbiters were saying during the match. Nowadays they don’t bother because everybody covers their mouths with their hands when they are going to speak with somebody in the field. Except of course when they are shouting profanities.
We should take the cue.
I see, that is why everybody is chewing gum these days.
Bad Lip Reading
If you look on YouTube for Bad Lip Reading, you can find some comically hilarious results. You can clearly see the video of the person, often a famous or well known person, with their lips moving. The audio is the “bad lip reading” person saying something completely different, that just happens to fit perfectly with the video of the person’s mouth and lips.
If software lip reading is used against someone, they could argue that they said something different.
CCTV + Lip Reading Software + Facial Recognition Software + Third Party Doctrine = No More Privacy in Public places
Why not record audio?
If you want to spy on everyone’s conversations, microphones would be the obvious way. Is this some kind of workaround because recording audio would be illegal?
Re: Why not record audio?
Is the lip reading software targeting. only English verbage or will it also include Russian, Chinese, Iranian, Pakastani, and Arabic?
Does exposing yourself to nuclear waste give you telepathy, or just x-ray vision and superhuman strength? Because telepathy would be handy.
Now we also have to be ventriloquists.
After many years I finally bought hearing aids. After several sessions of tuning with the audiologist, I realized that the continuing problem wasn’t my hearing, which is now fine, but that most people can’t speak intelligible English.
They speak in sentence fragments, use wrong words, use wrong vowels in words, mispronounce words, omit words, bark random syllables, or just make a barely-modulated whine. And now that I can hear surrounding conversations, a surprising amount consists of “eh?” and “what?”
If “they” actually have software that can make sense of that gibberish, I’d be interested in buying a copy…
“It’s easy to imagine the future scenarios as shop assistants are primed to descend upon people who speak favorably about goods on sale, or who express a wish for something that is not immediately visible to them”
Well, that would be one more reason not to go shopping in a brick & mortar store. I avoid sale assistants like the plague they are at the best of times, I don’t need them having more reason to come and bother me.
Part of me also wonders how this kind of technology differentiates between languages. I can imagine that if I’m in a store in UK with a Spanish friend and we switch languages during the conversation, as we often do, that would either raise red flags or have the reader think we said something we didn’t.
There are a number of states where audio recording is illegal in a wide variety of situations. Automated lip-reading isn’t audio, but may violate the intent of those laws…
Time to stop trimming my mustache.
All innovative surveillance technologies should be trialed via publicly accessible versions recording all interactions between lobbyists and members of parliament. Then following the trial, the parliamentarians can vote whether its a good idea or not.