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Amazon’s facial recognition system generated over 5 per cent false matches of US Congress members

Amazon’s facial recognition system generated over 5 per cent false matches of US Congress members 

Show Notes

Digital assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant learn more about you by listening and recording conversations you have with them to learn your tone of voice, prompts, and requests.

It is common for smart speakers to pick up a random part of your conversation if you use the wake word – like Alexa or Hey Google when talking. If you changed the trigger to a more common everyday word, then you are in a bad position, because whenever you use that word, your speaker will listen and record.

Check your recordings on Amazon Alexa device:

Go to you Alexa app, Tap the dropdown icon on the top left side of the screen to open the menu options. Click on the Settings menu, then find History.

If you would like to delete a recording in your Alexa history, you can do so individually or in bulk by going to the Amazon’s Manage Your Content and Devices page to remove all. By doing this, Amazon warns that it may reduce your Alexa experience.

For Google Assistant:

On web browser: Log in to your Google account via a web browser. Click your profile picture in the top right, click on “Google Account,” and afterward you’ll be taken to an overview page. Look for the “Personal info & privacy” column centered in the overview page, then click on “Manage your Google activity.” Once you’re there, scroll down until you reach the “Review activity” section — this is what you’re looking for — and click on the “Go to my activity” link.

On your phone: Log in to your Google account in the browser and tap the following: your profile picture > Manage Accounts > Google Activity Controls > Manage Activity. You’ll be greeted by a full list of all queries that can be sorted and deleted.

Amazon’s Facial Recognition System

Here is the link to Episode 134 that we did on Facial scans at airports –

Recently, The American Civil Liberties Union tested Amazon’s facial recognition system — and the results were not good. During the test the faces of all 535 members of Congress were scanned against 25,000 public mugshots, using Amazon’s open Rekognition API. None of the members of Congress were in the mugshot lineup, but Amazon’s system generated 28 false matches, a finding that has raised some serious concerns about Rekognition’s use by police.


When handling your card – like handing it over to a cashier, swiping it to make contactless payments, tapping at a machine or inserting it into an ATM – we all do this vertically.

The vast majority of credit and debit cards today are designed in landscape, which is an outdated usage model.

It’s time that we have cards in portrait mode. This the UK’s Starling Bank is coming out with – portrait card design.

There are others as well, like Virgin America that does a full-on portrait credit card, and CapitalOne has a range of vertical credit cards. A few other banks and payment services have been experimenting with the portrait design over the years.

Thanks for listening.

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