Adobe’s About Face: useless feature or stroke of genius?

The news is not exactly fresh, but has been recently bounced again: Adobe’s Project About Face should make Photoshop able to detect human face editing and revert the image to its pristine condition.

As Adobe states on its website,

This new research is part of a broader effort across Adobe to better detect image, video, audio and document manipulations. Past Adobe research focused on image manipulation detection from splicing, cloning, and removal, whereas this effort focuses on the Face Aware Liquify feature in Photoshop because it’s popular for adjusting facial features, including making adjustments to facial expressions. The feature’s effects can be delicate which made it an intriguing test case for detecting both drastic and subtle alterations to faces.

The first reaction would be something along “who cares? There are plenty of tools to create my deep fakes, so… screw Adobe!” But that would be a rather dull conclusion, as by developing these technologies (assumed that they work properly) Adobe is creating a (big and wide) market niche. Continue reading “Adobe’s About Face: useless feature or stroke of genius?”

Apple, Facial Recognition and the Right of Defense (plus, a sting at the GDPR)

The news is gaining momentum: Osumane Bah, a student that has been charged of multiple  theft in  Apple stores located in several cities of the United States, filed a suit against the Cupertino-based company seeking for a compensation of one billion USD for having been wrongly identified by Apple as the author of these crimes. The decisive evidence that lead to his involvement in the investigations, this is Mr. Bah’s basis of the claim, is that he has been  wrongly identified by a facial recognition system operated either by Apple or a security company hired for the job. Continue reading “Apple, Facial Recognition and the Right of Defense (plus, a sting at the GDPR)”

An Australian Bill makes mandatory for IT companies to crack users’ encrypted messages

The Australian Parliament recently passed the  Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018 that might have a disruptive effect on the whole IT business, by forcing companies into designing unsecure hardware and software and weakening users’ confidence. Continue reading “An Australian Bill makes mandatory for IT companies to crack users’ encrypted messages”

A contribution to the analysis of the legal status of cryptocurrencies

Summary
This paper advocates that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum don’t challenge the current legal system, since they fit comfortably enough into the immaterial asset legal definition. As such, while a blockchain-based cryptocurrency can’t be considered as legal tender or electronic money, it can be exchanged on a contractual basis as it happens with every other kind of good. Continue reading “A contribution to the analysis of the legal status of cryptocurrencies”