Jun 26, 2017

China's 'big brother' reality

Sheila Scarborough / Flickr Creative Commons

The Chinese government is using facial-recognition technology to help promote good behavior and catch lawbreakers — even jaywalkers, according to the Wall Street Journal. Facial recognition is used to enter buildings, withdraw cash from ATMs and prevent cheating during competitions.

Big picture, big brother: China is installing iris scanners at check points throughout the country. The government already monitors social media, and there are plans to institute a national "social credit" system by 2020, which would give citizens ratings based on how they act at work, in public settings and financially. There are 176 million surveillance cameras in China, compared to 50 million in the U.S..

The tech: Chinese tech firms are competing to create surveillance systems to sell to the government. As artificial intelligence technologies advance, so does facial-recognition.

In the U.S., the FBI uses facial recognition to help catch suspects and the DHS is starting to use it in airports to keep track of foreign visitors. Other U.S. companies are using facial recognition in pilot programs.

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Stocks fall 4% as sell-off worsens

A trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Stocks fell more than 4% on Thursday, extending the market’s worst week since the financial crisis in 2008 following a spike in coronavirus cases around the world.

The big picture: All three indices closed in correction territory on Thursday, down over 10% from their recent record-highs amid a global market rout.

Coronavirus updates: California monitors 8,400 potential cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

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Watchdog opens probe into VA secretary over handling of sexual assault claim

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie on Fox Business Network’s "The Evening Edit" on Jan. 7. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

The Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General Michael Missal said Thursday he had opened an investigation into VA Secretary Robert Wilkie after lawmakers demanded an inquiry into his handling of a sexual misconduct report, the Washington Post reports.

Context: Wilkie allegedly "worked to discredit" the credibility of Democratic aide and veteran Andrea Goldstein after she reported last fall "that a man groped and propositioned her in the main lobby of the agency's D.C. Medical Center," a senior VA official told the Post.