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tv   Click  BBC News  September 23, 2017 3:30pm-4:01pm BST

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this is bbc news. the headlines at 15:30pm: the french president, emmanuel macron, says the uk must provide more clarity about its negotiating position on brexit. over half a million people have signed a petition calling for transport for london to reverse its decision to stop the ride—hailing app uber from operating in the capital. iran says it has successfully tested a new ballistic missile with a range of up to 1,200 miles. jeremy corbyn arrives in brighton at the start of the labour party conference. now on bbc news, click. this week — how safe is your face? pinpointing pollutants and... i'm not sure you're pointing that hairspray the right way, lara. facial recognition, tech that can identify someone
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from theirface, is fast becoming a thing. this biometric id has been used, albeit together with passports, at immigration control in airports. in dubai, they want to do this without the gates, allowing passengers to walk more easily through the airport. and it's also found its way into apps as an alternative to the password for validating a payment. face recognition could be coming to shops, too. in china, alibaba recently premiered a smile—to—pay system at kfc. but unlike our passports
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and passwords, our faces are on public display pretty much all the time, and that makes it possible for the authorities or anyone else to automatically identify us in any public space, something which you may not be surprised to hear they are quite interested in doing. dan simmons has been looking at the preparations being made by several governments to do this. and to start with, you've been to germany? yes, it seems that we could be moving towards a biometric cctv sort of state, and one of the places where it is first happening, which may surprise you, is in berlin. catching a train in the german capital today means you might be caught on cctv, perhaps while stamping your paper ticket. neither system automatically
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track your movements. at the least, that requires human intervention. but arrive at sudkreuz in the south of the city, and your face will be scanned and analysed by computers. the testing of facial recognition systems began here last month, but the authorities aren't looking for criminals just yet. and they're not really looking for me, either. around 200 volunteers have had their faces scanned and been given a location tracker so the authorities know when they pass through here and they can see how often the cameras can pick them up, just by looking at their faces. if the system's accurate enough, then the next stage is to use it much more widely, which for many, would be a breach of privacy — being constantly monitored with no easy opt out. the germans have a history of being watched. this old listening station in berlin was how the west kept tabs on east germany.
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on the ground below, first the nazis and then the stasi in east germany kept files on the population, filled by informants. since the fall of the berlin wall in 1989 and the decommissioning of id checkpoints, berliners have been fiercely protective of their privacy. what has changed is that a new threat has replaced the old. police control the crowds in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. a truck has mowed down shoppers in berlin — 12 are killed and more than 50 injured. at this time, cctv is still not widely used in public areas, but three months later, in march this year, the government passes new laws to extend their use and the face recognition pilot was given the go—ahead. despite the trial offering a white route that passengers can take to avoid the cameras, both the country's data commissioner and the country's top lawyers have expressed concern about germany moving towards a surveillance state.
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no—one is saying facial recognition couldn't help catch criminals, but the public does not seem to have been asked. as germany goes to the polls, one member of the coalition who has been in power told me he wasn't consulted about the trial and the technology has not been publicly debated in parliament. it does not bring more security. it isjust collecting data, more and more. you don't know who, when, where this data may be used. it is a pill they try to give to the people which doesn't have any effect, because it doesn't solve the problems. proponents of the scheme point to the dip in crime on berlin's metro system following the installation of cctv in 2011. we asked the german interior ministry and the police authority for an interview and to take a look at the technology, but both declined.
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we asked some travellers. i don't trust these systems. i don't trust this new development, like, everybody should be tracked and scanned by cameras. they showed on tv that if you have a cap on or sunglasses, it doesn't work any more, so maybe not so much. but anyway if it catches one, we are very happy. it really shows that it will help, then i will be ok with this, in the hope that there is no misuse and no tracking, just collecting tracking data. if those worries are widespread, it's not looking good. questions hang over whether the german police fabricated their records on the man behind december‘s terror attack to make them look good.
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earlier this month, a privacy international report said 21 eu member states, including germany, are still unlawfully collecting and retaining personal data. who's watching the watchers? that may be the key question if the technology proves its worth. 0k, well, first up, we are tracked by our phones every day anyway these days, aren't we? so, what is the big concern around facial recognition? with phones, we can possibly turn them off or opt to carry a more basic model. we do have some choice. it tends to be companies that collect data, so when the police or the state require that information, they do so on a case—by—case basis. i think the concern here is that if we introduced facial recognition as we have cctv, then there would be a very broad database, a searchable database, to find out where each person was and with whom whenever they were in public. 0k, though, to be fair, it is just a trail. this hasn't been released yet.
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no, it is a trial, absolutely, just on those 250 volunteers and on members of the public that walk through the space where they're captured on camera. and you've been to another capital city where this technology is already being used by the police to look for real suspects, to find people that they're looking for. yes, here in london, where the most recent trials took place last month. carnival time in notting hill. the tens of thousands who gather are monitored from above, and by officers on the ground. but there are also facial recognition cameras here, and unlike in berlin, the london trial is not as visible to the public, and the officers are using it to spot real suspects. the metropolitan police declined to show us the technology or to interview, so we spoke to a human rights expert who was invited by officers to witness what happened. in the ten minutes that i viewed
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facial recognition in action, i saw two misidentifications, and in fact both of them wrongly identified an innocent woman walking past as a wanted man from the police's database. so it didn't even get the gender right? no. and those are false positives — are the police concerned about that? they weren't worried about that, but they were running this for four days. the police told us that they had made many false positives. the system had produced many false positives. she says officers told her they had made one correct match in the four days of use. the leads who i met viewed this as a success. in their view, as long as they can prove that the software works, ie can make a positive match, even if it's making 40 incorrect matches, then it works. that's not a scientific approach,
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and there's no balance or proportionality, let alone the civil liberties issues. in our view, that is not a success. some people will say that the technology needs to be tested in real—world circumstances and this is what the police are doing in this situation. they have to test it and this could be useful in future. we all have something to worry about when the police are using intrusive biometric surveillance powers, that they don't have a legal basis to use and that they are doing largely in secret. that's a worry. these kinds of surveillance tools present some really broad concerns, and to simply say, i have nothing to hide, therefore i have nothing to fear, is to unconditionally submit to powers of government that are unchecked. and that is to say, whichever flavour of government comes in, would we be happy with biometric
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surveillance on our streets? i don't think we would. london's metropolitan police told us... they declined to comment on the effectiveness of the technology. that's slightly concerning, isn't it, especially if the software really is that inaccurate? and i guess we haven't had any kind of public debate about whether this technology should be used yet. no, not really. i mean, the police say there will be a public consultation. we asked them how long we would wait for that, and they said that would happen in due course. we checked parliamentary records, and although facial recognition has come up for debate within other bits of legislation around anti—terror
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laws, there has never been any specific debate around the use of facial recognition in public in the uk. meanwhile, the technology continues to advance and researchers are looking at even more complex and advanced algorithms for this sort of thing. just a couple of examples over the last month, cambridge university said they are developing a system which could potentially identify people with scarves over their faces or wearing hats, and stanford university in the us say they have developed algorithms that can look at the results of what comes in through the camera and determine somebody‘s sexual orientation. so, i mean, you're looking at something potentially in the future, when this technology starts to take off, where you could walk past the camera and you're automatically added to a database. you wouldn't necessarily know about, and therefore, as your human rights may say, well, you can complain and get something done, you just wouldn't even know that it had happened.
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0k, lots to talk about in the future, unsurprisingly. dan, thanks. from filming yourface to feeding it now, this is london's borough market, a foodie‘s paradise, stuffed to the gills with gourmet grub. this week, designers from the royal college of art alongside inventors have descended on this bustling street market to show off a host of gastronomic gadgets. first up, bottle openers that are supposed to make beer taste better with sound. according to ma student drew richards, the flavour will now appear better as a result of the satisfying sound. instead of mixing vast quantities of a recipe before unveiling it to the public, professor harris makatsoris from cranfield university has been experimenting with crowd—sourcing ingredients using a web game that mimics the stock market. having a large number of consumers playing the game,
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and in other words telling us what their preferences are for an energy drink, which we then took away and we created the formula. bottoms up. ma studentjun yeon cho has created cutlery with handles that can be heated, which claim to slow down child ren‘s eating habits. slower eating has been shown to make us feel fuller more quickly, and it is hoped that these snazzy knives and forks will do just that, encouraging healthier eating habits in children. and finally, over in the kitchen, students from the rca and nottingham university hope to capture those family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. by analysing video of visitors preparing food and collecting data from accelerometers attached to cooking utensils, recipes will be generated in order to record the way individuals prepare food.
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we believe that people are better able to articulate their preferences and ideas around food using their bodies. we're putting sensors in kitchen tools, and we capture those ideas and we develop a repository of recipes, which are a series of videos and sensor data. so those old family recipes may never be lost to the mists of time ever again. yeah, anyone else peckish now? hello and welcome to the week in tech. apple released a new version of their operating system, cunningly titled i0s11. google announced an £800 million deal with smartphone—maker htc, and transport for london said they will not renew the licence for ride—hailing company uber when it expires at the end of september. tfl said the company was not fit or proper to hold a licence. uber said it will appeal the decision. it was also the week that minister theresa may called
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for technology companies to go further and faster in removing extremist content from the web. the prime minister also called for social networks and search engines to find ways to take down terrorist materials within two hours of publication. and history was made this week as an electric vehicle broke a world record by travelling more than 1,000 miles on a single charge. the ao—foot—long test bus travelled 1,102 miles on a testing ground in indiana. the company behind the bus has not revealed how fast it was going, though, saying it travelled slow and steady. and a while ago, we told you about the tragic demise of our good friend, steve, the robot security guard who sadly perished in a washington fountain. well, steve's parents are back and have spawned a new breed. the k7 has been specifically designed to fight crime in large areas with difficult terrain. will it suffer the same
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ill fate as steve? 0nly steps will tell. ah, that is the smell of a killer! those were the words of london's mayor sadiq khan, who said that london's air pollution is way beyond acceptable levels. you can't really smell much, i know, but the health problems caused by petrol and diesel cars has caused france, the uk, now this week china, to consider banning them in the relatively near future. lara's up in a few minutes, to look at pollution in unexpected places, but first we're is off to west oakland near san francisco, another place with lots of diesel pollution and a lot of people with breathing problems. sumi das has been meeting the science and tech experts who are trying to pinpoint pollutants. can you see them? harmful pollutants — we can't detect them but this car can. inside is a minilab from environmental sensor start—up
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aclima, that monitors air quality. we mounted this system onto the street view camera platform that has both meteorological instrumentation and inlets. this is where we actually sampled the gas and pollution as we are driving along. for one year, two street view cars, souped up with aclima tech, crisscrossed west oakland, california, roughly 12 square kilometres, bordered by freeways and home to a bustling port and families. 37,000km and some serious number—crunching later, researchers had this detailed pollution map. steven hamburg, of the environmental defence fund, a partner in the project, explains how. you need fast response instruments that are collecting data every second. and then you need the analytical capability to actually use that data to actually map it in a way that's just characterising that local spot. each dot represents
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around 30 metres. the colour represents air quality — the darker the dot, the dirtier the air. red dots cluster around hotspots like this metal recycling plant and this busy intersection. researchers hope this data will spur governments to start regulating. city officials could divert diesel vehicles away from schools or real—time traffic lights so lorries aren't idling. all this equipment crammed into this car, it's high—precision stuff and too pricey to put on a fleet of vehicles, so aclima developed a sensor system to measure pollution levels — that system will be about 100 times cheaper and about the size of a couple of shoe boxes. imagine adding air—pollution as a layer in your mapping app. it starts with the measurements, of course, and the number of times we would need to sample a region to get something which is baseline for that area, and then understanding the variability around that baseline.
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it's ambitious and a massive big data challenge. for now, aclima has a real—time tracking tool and that's more than just a breath of fresh air. it's easy to think of air quality as an outdoor issue, but maybe it's time we start to think about the air that we're breathing inside our homes. air pollution comes in many forms. in our homes, that includes outdoor polluted air coming in through open windows, as well as being caused by cooking, lighting candles, burning incense, or the use of everyday products. so, to test a couple of the latest indoor air quality trackers, i've enlisted the help of professor roy anderson, an expert on the matter who also has his professional air quality monitoring kit at hand. so, first off, time to take a base reading. firstly we have the foobot.
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this gives us three different pollutant measurements. it gives us particulate manner, except that is not telling us what size fraction it's measuring. we are getting a little less than that on our device. we are getting between five and ten micrograms per cubic metre but it looks like it very plausible reading. and netatmo's healthy home coach. in terms of air quality, this device is measuring carbon dioxide. slightly strange because from a health perspective it's not one of the pollutants we are very concerned with. some health relevant pollutants will be high when carbon dioxide is high, but others won't. although the professor did add that this reading was too low to be plausible. for our first experiment, let's burn some toast. things are really peaking. there's quite a reaction there to burnt toast. those are very high concentrations.
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it's beijing—type air quality in here at the moment, not london. let's look at what the other devices have been tracking. the netatmo? it has not reacted at all to this smoking episode, but, then, burning toast does not generate much carbon dioxide, unless you set fire to it. fair enough. the foobot turned from blue to red halfway through the toast being made, so it obviously knew there was a problem. what do you make of the readings? if we look at the volatile organic compounds, that's gone up tenfold and that's very plausible. i'm just surprised that the particulate matter, which is still reading 17 micrograms per cubic metre, has not responded. maybe is very slow. i don't know. but we have the advantage of it measuring three pollutants and the device has given us its red warning. on to experiment two, and luckily the professor was happy to play along. the hairspray did not cause
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a reaction from the netatmo's c02 sensor, whilst it did alarm the foobot‘s triple sensors. it is responding to particulate matter. the volatile organic compounds, which i would imagine would be the main component of the hairspray, is up to 8,400 so that's gone up a lot from the background, but it's not hugely high. what is very strange is the carbon dioxide has gone up to 30,000. why is this? it is a level that would worry me to be breathing. it is a little hard to breathe here at the moment. it is a huge level. it's all very well to know the quality of the air you're breathing, but you may want to do something about it. a device like this aims to purify the air by tracking it, so it knows what the quality is at any given time, and if the quality is poor it will do more purifying, and if the air quality is ok, then it can pause. the dyson pure cool link does come with a hefty price tag,
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and this model is the size of not—so—small child. its motor aims to draw the polluted air into the device before filtering that air and dispering clean air back into the room. clearly we had a spike in the pollution level, but it has not gone as high as in the earlier experiment. i am impressed that it is coming down more quickly than i would have thought. we have moved from very poor to poor on here. my tests seem to indicate the rather odd result that fixing the problem may prove simpler than actually monitoring it. that was lara, and before her sumi das in california. that's for this week. don't forget, we live on facebook and twitter @bbcclick. check us out throughout this week and every week. thank you for watching and we will see you soon. hello there.
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some of us has had some blues and i and sunshine to stop a lot of cloud around, particularly across southern, western scotland and north—west england as you can see from this weather watchers picture." and offer the odd spot on two of drizzle. a beautiful afternoon in kent. we've also potentially got 20 celsius in the south east as well. not too bad for some of us. cloud thickening to the west, a weather front arriving tonight. that will continue to bring in outbreaks of light and patchy rain. low cloud and
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murk in the west. further east, not as cold on sunday morning. some decent styles of sunshine from the word go. the second—half of the weekend, a west and east divide. eastern scotland, central and eastern england staying dry and will probably stay like that. the weather front slowly pushes its way east and brings rain. some heavy. i had a bad, some of the rain turning to the south—west of wales. light and patchy into north—west england. a different feel that the cloud and rain around. by the end of sunday, oui’ rain around. by the end of sunday, our weather fund will gradually start to push its way inland, but it's not really going to make its way across to the eastern england. here it will stay dry, not only through sunday night but also into monday. behind it, quite a lot of
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moisture and light winds. fog forming, potentially dense, so we need to keep an eye on that on monday. monday starts with the weather front placing the country in two. 15 to 20 degrees in the sunshine. when the fog lifts, and improving picture. the moving out of monday into the early half of the week in general, high pressure driving the weather. that prevents frontal systems from making too much pressure from the west. for the next few days, patchy rain slowly easing away and then largely dry and warm. perhaps an issue with early—morning fog. this is bbc news. the headlines at apm: the french president, emmanuel macron, calls on the uk to provide more clarity about its negotiating position on brexit. sadiq khan defends transport for london's decision not to renew taxi app uber‘s licence, as over half a million people sign a petition calling
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for it to be reversed. iran says it has successfully tested a new ballistic missile with a range of up to 1,200 miles. police have fully reopened a stretch of the m3 in both directions after emergency services responded to reports of a hazardous material on the road. labour leaderjeremy corbyn arrives in brighton ahead of the start of his party's conference. also in the next hour, thousands of costumes from the royal shakespeare company go on sale.
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