Getty Images/ Dowell(NEW YORK) — A new study has found that it might be possible to use commercial facial recognition technology to identify people based on MRIs of their brain — even if researchers take the usual steps to protect patient privacy.Publicly available facial-recognition software was able to correctly match photographs of people 83% of the time, on the first try, based only on their “de-identified” cranial MRI scans, researchers said in a letter published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine. “De-identified” means that identifiable information had been removed.“This is only applicable if people can get access to the MRI scans in publicly available research databases. It is not related to medical care, where data is secured,” the study’s lead author Dr. Christopher Schwarz, a Mayo Clinic researcher and computer scientist in the Center for Advanced Imaging Research, said in a statement.“We are studying potential gaps in de-identification as we seek ways to improve these techniques,” Schwarz said.The threat to privacy only applies to people who have released their MRI imagery to the public domain by, for example, participating in research studies.Currently, researchers remove names and identification numbers when sharing MRI scans with others in the medical community, but doctors typically won’t blur facial imagery because it can make it harder to automatically measure brain structures from the images, according to Schwarz.As part of the study that included 84 volunteer participants, the correct photograph of a person’s face was chosen as the facial recognition software’s number 1 match with an 83% success rate.“With advances in digital technologies, in this case, facial recognition software, it’s critical that we continue to revisit the promises that we’ve made to our patients, particularly promises related to the confidentiality of their medical data,”Dr. Richard Sharp, the director of the Biomedical Ethics Research Program, said in a statement about the findings.“Much of our work in biomedical ethics focuses on protecting patients from unanticipated harms and this is an excellent illustration of the importance of that work,” the statement added.Schwarz added that they are making “good progress toward an initial solution,” but noted that keeping patients’ data private is an “always-evolving field.”“The insights we gained in this study will help us in our work to keep patient data private and use it more effectively for research into diseases and potential new therapies,” he added.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Editor’s Note: Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, The Observer will sit down with Notre Dame experts to break down the election and its importance to students. In this second installment, News Writer Rachel O’Grady asks Tocqueville Associate Professor of Political Science Vincent Phillip Muñoz about the upcoming primaries and the biggest issues of the campaign.Rachel O’Grady: With the Iowa caucuses just a few days away and New Hampshire not long after, what should we be looking for as the results come in?Professor Muñoz: I suppose the number one question for the Republican primary is: Do Trump supporters actually turn out to vote? If they don’t, the Donald might be in for a quick fall. Or perhaps that’s just my wishful thinking. For the Democrats: Can Bernie Sanders actually win one of the early states and, if he does, can he transform that victory into a perception that he could actually defeat Clinton? And if Trump and Sanders win in Iowa and New Hampshire, expect lots of talk about a third party challenger mounting a run — Bloomberg?ROG: The average age of Supreme Court justices right now is 75, so it is likely our next president will have at least one Supreme Court nominee. How does that play into the primary and, more importantly, the general election?VPM: Given the blockbuster cases that have been or will be decided before November, I expect we will hear quite a bit about the Supreme Court and the type of justice each candidate would appoint. Perhaps it’s because it’s still relatively early, but I’m surprised we have not heard more about how a Cruz presidency coupled with a Republican Senate might actually lead to a reversal of the Court’s decision to protect same-sex marriage. That’s a long shot for any number of reasons, but given that Justice Ginsburg is 82 and Justice Breyer is 77, it’s not out of the question. And if Hillary Clinton were to win and Justice Scalia were to leave the Court (he is 79), the Court would surely move to the left, likely ensuring another generation of constitutional protection for abortion.ROG: There are a number of important Supreme Court decisions that have happened under the Obama administration, many of which Republicans have called unconstitutional, and we’re hearing a lot about it during the debates. Does this end up being a long-term issue?VPM: Supreme Court decisions are almost always a long-term issue, which is one of the reasons why they are so important.ROG: In your research and opinion, what do you think will be the most important issue in the general election?VPM: President Obama’s reelection in 2012 was the first time in my political lifetime (thankfully, I’m too young to remember Jimmy Carter) that the country elected a progressive president. In 2008, Obama presented himself as “post-partisan,” but that wasn’t possible or plausible in 2012. In November, we will find out if the country wants to continue down a progressive path.ROG: Taking it back to college campuses, particularly here at Notre Dame, what issues do you think students need to be paying attention to in the coming months?VPM: Since gay rights and religious freedom (not to mention free speech, affirmative action and campaign finance reform) are significantly impacted by the judiciary, understanding the type of judges and Supreme Court justices a candidate would appoint is critically important if one wants to vote intelligently on these issues. This, of course, is one of the reasons we started the Constitutional Studies Minor.Tags: 2016 Election Observer, 2016 presidential campaign, primary elections, Supreme Court
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) – Along with the establishment of 13 committees, Cricket West Indies (CWI) has also announced the formation of a Governance Task Force and a Selection Task Force, to help in its reform.The five-member Governance Task Force and the six-member Selection Task Force have been appointed to review and implement reform of the organisation’s governance, and the outdated system of team selections.Jamaican businessman and Senator Don Wehby has been selected to chair the Governance Task Force, which also includes Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of UWI; Charles Wilkin, Queen’s Counsel of St Kitts & Nevis; Jamaican entrepreneur OK Melhado, and former Trinidad and West Indies cricketer, Deryck Murray.The Selection Task Force is chaired by CWI Vice-President Dr Kishore Shallow and includes former West Indian cricketers Ramnaresh Sarwan, Philo Wallace, and Miles Bascombe; Jimmy Adams, CWI Director of Cricket, and Enoch Lewis, CWI Chairman of the Cricket Committee.The 13 committees will preside over Audit, Risk and Compliance; Chief Executives, Communications & Commercial Affairs, Cricket, Disciplinary Tribunal, Ethics, Executive Performance Review, Finance, Human Resources Development, International Fixtures, Medical Advisory, No Objection Certificate (NOC) and Umpires and Match Referees.CWI president Ricky Skerritt has confirmed that the committee compositions include a wide variety of stakeholder interests. Over 50 per cent of the total committee membership is independent of the traditional cricket fraternity, originating from 11 different Caribbean territories.The total number of women on CWI committees has increased, with a few of the committees actually having a female member for the first time.Skerritt also confirmed that there remains one more task force to be assembled later this year.The ‘High Performance Implementation System’ Task Force will be charged with designing a more modernised and effective system of partnership-based player development/intervention initiatives.