FRT (facial recognition technology) used to be slow and clumsy. Machines, slower. Not so anymore, especially when augmented by Cloud resources.
So, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration put together businesses and consumer groups to avoid legislation, which could be dicey. Those talks have fallen apart over “informing consumers and obtaining permission to use” this FRT.
“The talks have covered a range of issues dealing with how companies store, use and share information they've gathered by using facial recognition, whether from photographs such as on social media sites, or from images captured by security cameras.” – infopackets
Well, both sides have viable points here, and I’m not advocating one or the other. A good starting point in understanding some of the issues can be found here. The consumer advocate groups (nine in number: American Civil Liberties Union; Center for Democracy & Technology; Center for Digital Democracy; Alvaro M. Bedoya, the executive director of the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown University Law Center; Consumer Action; Consumer Federation of America; Consumer Watchdog; Common Sense Media; and Electronic Frontier Foundation) have withdrawn from talks conducted over the past 16 months.
The make or break appears to be explicit permission:
“[but] the privacy advocates said they were giving up on talks because they could not achieve what they consider minimum rights for consumers — the idea that companies should seek and obtain permission before employing face recognition to identify individual people on the street.
“At a base minimum, people should be able to walk down a public street without fear that companies they’ve never heard of are tracking their every movement — and identifying them by name — using facial recognition technology,” the privacy and consumer groups said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we have been unable to obtain agreement even with that basic, specific premise.” – NYT
One industry spokesperson stated that they would proceed to work out a policy with or without the consumer protection groups. Ho hum. The current administration has already come down on the side of more protection for the public and consumers regarding privacy issues (while not securing vital info on millions of Federal gov’t. workers…lol). Also, Texas and Illinois have passed state laws requiring companies to notify people and obtain their permission before taking facial scans or sharing their biometric information.
“Mr. Bedoya said consumer advocates were troubled by the possibility that the federally convened face recognition discussions could end up endorsing an industry code of conduct that undermined those state laws.
“The message sent is clear,” he said in an email. “If you are a consumer, and you want better privacy laws, you should call your state legislator and head to your state capitol. Just don’t come to Washington, D.C.” –ibid
As we all become naught more than commodities and privacy? Puhleeeze.