Companies Can Use Your Facial Data Without Your Consent
by Samra Anees
As facial recognition technologies progress with image and video analytics, the need for regulation of facial recognition data is getting stronger. The Commercial Facial Recognition Privacy Act aims to regulate facial recognition data in commercial cases.
Faces Need to be Protected Just Like IDs
While image and video analytics is on the rise, it’s important to pause and think about the implications of this. Facial recognition technology has numerous uses in image and video analytics technology, but this also means that databases exist that track our faces — just like I.D.s. The difference is that you have control over where your I.D. is shown, but you do not have control of your face being tracked and analyzed anywhere. This creates problems because it is a huge invasion of privacy.
The Commercial Facial Recognition Privacy Act
This week, Hawaii and Missouri Senators Brian Schatz and Roy Blunt proposed a bill that would give legislative oversight to facial recognition technology for commercial applications. Under this bill, companies would be required to inform consumers if any facial recognition is used and require explicit user consent before sharing facial recognition data with third parties.
This bill is being proposed because people realize that facial recognition technology is still being developed. As this technology develops, consumers don’t know how their data is gathered, what it is used for, or how it is analyzed, and this bill aims to give facial recognition some guardrails to “make sure that it is implemented responsibly,” according to Senator Blunt.
The bill is endorsed by Microsoft, which recognizes that this technology is only just emerging.
Law Enforcement Isn’t Regulated
While the bill regulates facial recognition technology for commercial use, the same rules don’t apply to individuals being tracked by law enforcement; facial recognition technologies can still be used in the ongoing surveillance of people.
While we can’t be sure if this bill will be passed, it signifies that facial recognition technologies are drawing attention from lawmakers and will become more relevant as time goes on, creating the need to be open and aware of its capabilities and how they affect people and their privacy. Aragon will be releasing research on image and video analytics technology soon.