Thousands march in Peru in support of bull, cock fighting

LIMA - Around 10,000 people demonstrated in support of bull and cock fighting in Lima on Friday ahead of a supreme court’s decision on their future. Animal rights activists have brought a case to the Constitutional Court asking it to declare unconstitutional a law that exempts bull and cock fighting from and animal protection laws.

The court is due to take a decision on the case on Tuesday. “United for a passion, culture and tradition,” read one banner at the rally in central Lima and cockfighting have been popular activities in Peru since the Spanish colonization but animal rights groups have demanded an end to the practices.

The law that protects pets and wild animals kept in captivity has a clause exempting bulls and cockerels, considering them “part of cultural shows.”

Defenders of bull and cock fighting say the livelihoods of 400,000 people involved in breeding these animals would be at risk if the activities were banned. Bull and cock fighting are legal in many Latin American countries, but not in Peru’s neighbor Chile, where they were banned in 1818 when it declared independence.

Canada privacy watchdog probes facial recognition startup

Ottawa - Canada’s privacy watchdog on Friday announced an investigation into a US software startup reportedly capable of matching images of unknown faces to photos it mined from millions of websites and social media networks.

In a statement, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner said Clearview AI’s collection and stockpiling of more than three billion photos potentially violated Canadian law, if the photos were obtained without permission. The images -- grabbed from popular social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube as well as millions of other websites -- are used in its facial recognition software.

Clearview AI’s founder Hoan Ton-That has said the technology has been made available to more than 600 law enforcement agencies in Canada and the United States -- including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security -- for the purposes of identifying individuals, raising concerns about police surveillance.

Banks are also using the tool for fraud investigations, he told The New York Times and CNN.

Tech giants such as Twitter and Facebook have reportedly asked the company to stop collecting photos from its platforms, while the US state of New Jersey banned its police forces from using the software while it is being evaluated. The New York Times noted that Google, citing a statement by its chairman in 2011, had held back on releasing similar technology because of privacy concerns and the risk of it being misused.