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SGC Newsletter Insights and Analysis on Tech Trends and Developments Vol. 114

SG Computers provides white-glove managed information technology services. With extensive enterprise experience, our forward-thinking and dedicated professionals can assist with all your technology-based business development needs, such as personalized cloud services, visualization & storage, security, and monitoring and management. To learn more about our services, call us at +1(508) 444-0424 or visit our website at www.sgcomputersonline.com

Article Highlights in This Newsletter - Bring Your Own Device Frees Up Company Time and Expense & Facial Recognition Software vs Consumer Privacy

Bring Your Own Device Frees Up Company Time and Expense

Remember the days of being issued a Blackberry or PDA at work? The company IT guy certainly does. Setup, configuration, training, support, troubleshooting, dealing with lost or stolen devices, and many other issues kept the tech department very busy. And if an employee left the company on unfavorable terms and took the device with them? Bad times, indeed.

Thankfully, more businesses around the world are switching to the BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, method. The premise behind this strategy is that employees get to use their own mobile devices for both personal and work-related activities. Users are given an allowance instead of the company expensing new phones, tablets, or laptops. There are practices in place to allow employees to connect their devices to the company network safely. However, most support and troubleshooting of the device itself are handled by the manufacturer or reseller, not the company.

Allowing employees to use their own products frees up money and labor for the organization, and it saves workers the stress of learning how to use something new. But with this freedom comes an absolute need for structure. A BYOD policy lists rules enforced by the IT department that keep devices safe to use. Restrictions on specific apps, password policies, email management, biometric settings, data encryption, update schedules, and more must be set to avoid malicious activity exposure.

Perhaps one of the most essential parts of a BYOD policy includes instructions for when an employee leaves the company. All company-related data and access must be removed from the device to ensure private information isn't shared outside of the organization. Establishing a BYOD policy will streamline issues as they arise in the future.

Facial Recognition Software vs Consumer Privacy

Ongoing studies have demonstrated that facial recognition software has a low precision rating when identifying women and minorities. Researcher Joy Buolamwini from MIT Media Lab and Microsoft Researcher Timnit Gebru published a report in 2018 that states darker-skinned individuals are misidentified dozens of percentage points higher than lighter-skinned people when using both Microsoft and IBM's facial recognition software. Buolamwini also co-authored another study with Deborah Raji in 2019 focused on Amazon's Rekognition software, stating it has the same flaws and often identifies darker-skinned women for men. It has a near-zero flaw rate with lighter-skinned individuals. The alleged main issue with facial recognition software is that a substantial portion of data sets used to store information in its database consists of images of light-skinned males. In other words, the software "doesn't know how" to identify people of darker skin.

Despite initially trying to undermine the findings, Amazon has joined both Microsoft and IBM in their decision to stop selling their facial recognition software to law enforcement until Congress can pass laws to restrict its use from overreaching into citizen privacy. Recently Senator Edward Markey-D from Massachusetts has voiced his concern that the software could be used against protestors in addition to criminals. People may begin to fear speaking out because their faces may be included in police databases without committing a crime.

Clearview AI has been under scrutiny and facing multiple lawsuits due to their methods of using images from various social media networks to fill its facial recognition software database. Google, YouTube, Microsoft, and Twitter have all sent cease and desist letters to the company. CEO Hoan Ton-That says his software possesses no racial bias and will continue to sell it to law enforcement, stating its intent is to identify criminals and victims instead of being a surveillance tool.

To learn more about our services, call us at +1(508) 444-0424 or visit our website at www.sgcomputersonline.com

Credits:

Created with images by geralt - "matrix binary security" • Marvin Meyer - "untitled image" • greenbutterfly - "Hand touching UI for Unlocking with face identification. Facial recognition concept."