Friday 28th May 2021

Legality of collecting faces online challenged 

  • Clearview AI, a US firm with a database of three billion facial images from the internet, is facing a new legal challenge from privacy campaigners. 
  • Privacy International and others argue its methods of collecting photos and selling them to private firms and the police “go beyond what we could ever expect as online users”. 
  • Clearview has said it has no contracts with any EU-based customers. 
  • It said it had complied with requests to remove images of EU citizens. 
  • Under GDPR rules, European citizens can ask the company if their faces are in its database and request that their biometric data is no longer included in searches. 
  • Five such requests were submitted by privacy campaigners.
  • For the full story, select here 

Twitter: Social media giant lists new ‘Blue’ subscription service 

  • Twitter has listed a new subscription service on app stores, in an indication that the social media giant is preparing to trial the offering soon. 
  • “Twitter Blue” is listed as an in-app purchase, priced at £2.49 in the UK and $2.99 in the US. 
  • Twitter has given no further details, and declined to confirm online claims that the service could allow users to “undo” tweets. 
  • It previously said it was working on special features for paid subscribers 
  • The firm wouldn’t comment directly on the listing but highlighted to the BBC that it had previously announced plans to diversify its revenue sources.
  • For the full story, select here.

Police warn of security risks in playing online quizzes 

  • West Mercia Police have warned of the dangers of joining in quizzes and question on platforms such as Facebook.  
  • The police have warned that these phishing schemes create plenty of ways to fall victim to identity theft. 
  • Police teams are urging people to be wary and not end up providing unscrupulous hackers with the answers to online security questions. 
  • Popular Facebook quizzes often ask users to answer a series of sharable personal questions, ranging from the name of their pet to their birth city.  
  • Some people see them as a fun way to bond with friends or a way to make new ones, but the police said many of these queries are similar, if not identical, to security questions used by banks and other institutions.
  • For the full story, select here

Pupils missed 33 million days of in-person education due to Covid last autumn 

  • Official figures show the majority – 60 per cent – of pupils saw their schooling affected by the need to self-isolate or shield, often in classes or bubbles, with the average pupil missing five days of school. 
  • Absence rates are typically between 4 per cent and 5 per cent in the first term of the academic year, according to the DfE. 
  • This year the rate stood at 11.7 per cent, or 55 million days, including 7 per cent resulting from Covid self-isolation or shielding. 
  • It also includes a 4.7 per cent absence rate for other reasons, amounting to three days per pupil and 22 million lost school days.
  • For the full story, select here.