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Emails show Allegheny County district attorney’s office used trial of controversial facial recognition technology Clearview

“Dystopian” and “'Black Mirror'-esque” are among the ways critics have described Clearview, a facial recognition technology startup founded in 2016. The program’s ability to scrape photos off of the web and instantly aggregate information on just about anyone with an online presence, without their knowledge, has drawn the ire of privacy advocates, Democratic lawmakers and the same social media companies it relies on for data. 

The system has been used by more than 600 law enforcement agencies in the United States and abroad — including, as newly obtained records show, the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office. 

Emails obtained by PublicSource through an open records request show that Clearview trial accounts were linked to email addresses of four employees in the office of District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr.: analysts Andrew Colvin, Ted DeAngelis and Norah Xiong, and detective Lyle Graber. The trials started at different times, with emails first referencing a trial on Feb. 7 and last noting a log in on March 17. Three of the employee accounts were signed in to more than once.

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Ten ways employers can support working parents during the pandemic

Do you often find yourself hiding in the bathroom while on the phone? Are small, uninvited guests constantly crashing your Zoom calls? 

If so, there’s a good chance you’re a working parent. 

For many working parents, whether they’re working remotely or outside of the home, the pandemic has made juggling job and family duties even tougher. 

“We jokingly say that we’re playing hot potato,” Ashley Zahorchak said of caring for her 7-month-old baby while she and her husband work from home. Zahorchak serves as the director of youth services and STEM education at YWCA Greater Pittsburgh. “Whoever is not on a call or on a meeting, we’re juggling parenting duties like that.”

It’s been over two months since the COVID-19 shutdown disrupted the work-life balance, and daycare centers in the state are now allowed to reopen. Yet some parents are still facing many unprecedented challenges, said Heather Hopson, creator of Single Mom Defined, an art project and blog that celebrates Black motherhood.

Many low-income areas still lack high-speed Internet access

If you’re trying to apply for jobs, run a business or even complete schoolwork, it’s likely you’ll need access to the Internet to accomplish any of those basic tasks.

However, families in poor areas of the country were nearly five times more likely than rich families to not have access to high-speed Internet, according to an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity.