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California lawmakers stall facial recognition bill

A controversial California bill aimed at allowing businesses and government agencies to use facial recognition on customers stalled in the state legislature Wednesday, relieving privacy activists who argued the bill’s passage would’ve given too much leeway on how the controversial technology is used. The bill would have allowed state agencies and businesses to use facial recognition on customers without consent, as long as the facial recognition was used for “security and safety” purposes and with probable cause that the individual being analyzed had committed a crime. But the measure was held up in the state Assembly’s Appropriations Committee over objections to the controversial technology, which has already been banned locally by some California cities, including San Francisco. Ryan Johnston reports.

A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

NetWalker ransomware continues college tour

A newer form of ransomware that threatens to publish its victims' stolen files if a bounty is not paid within one week's time added two more colleges to its list of targets, EdScoop reports. Columbia College, a liberal arts school in Chicago, and the University of California, San Francisco, both appeared this week on a blog associated with the NetWalker ransomware, which last week hit Michigan State University. A statement from UCSF, which specializes in postgraduate health and science education and is conducting leading research into the COVID-19 pandemic, said that while it detected a malicious network intrusion this week, its patient care has “not been affected” by the incident. Benjamin Freed reports.

A special report on the remote workforce

Since governments sent their workers home and universities closed their campuses amid the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic, working and studying from home has become the new, sometimes uncomfortable norm. And whenever the COVID-19 crisis subsides, the remote workforce will be remembered as one of the period’s hallmarks. But even before then, there are lessons to be gleaned from the rapid transition that has already begun transforming the technologies, policies and cultures of public sector workplaces. In a new special report, StateScoop and EdScoop reporters explore how resilient government agencies have been in the sudden shift in operations, whether state IT agencies were prepared for it and what CIOs have learned during the pandemic. Read the full report.

This matters more

IT and cybersecurity can sometimes feel secondary to the outside world, and there are few clearer examples of that than the events of the past week. With the police killing of George Floyd forcing the nation to reconcile with systemic racism, cybersecurity professionals are asking themselves what they can do to resist social injustice. CyberScoop reporters talked to black cybersecurity pros about how the current climate of protests and police violence has brought up their own painful experiences, and how their white colleagues are trying to acknowledge their privilege. Read more on CyberScoop.

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