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Facial Recognition Bill Would Ban Companies From Sharing Your Face Without Consent

Published: March 15, 2019
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Source: Nextgov

Your face may be one in a million, but there are little to no consumer protections regarding how companies using facial recognition technology share your face and other information they capture about you.

Bipartisan legislation introduced in the Senate Thursday would change that, banning commercial users of facial recognition technology from collecting, resharing or selling data they collect for identifying or tracking consumers without their consent.

Introduced by Sens. Roy Blunt, R, Mo. and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, the Commercial Facial Recognition Privacy Act would also force companies to notify users when facial recognition is being used and would require third-party testing and review of new technologies before they’re widely implemented.

“Consumers are increasingly concerned about how their data is being collected and used, including data collected through facial recognition technology,” Sen. Blunt said in a statement. “That’s why we need guardrails to ensure that, as this technology continues to develop, it is implemented responsibly.”

Sen. Schatz, who has sponsored several privacy- and tech-related bills, said the responsibility should be “on companies” to seek permission from users before they track and analyze their faces.

“Our bill makes sure that people are given the information and–more importantly–the control over how their data is shared with companies using facial recognition technology,” Schatz said.

The proposed legislation comes as at least one nationwide survey suggests Americans are warming to facial recognition technology and increased use of the technology by multiple government agencies. The FBI began piloting Amazon’s Rekognition technology last year, and the Department of Homeland Security has used the technology at multiple airports and border crossing areas to apprehend more than two dozen people who were not who their paperwork said they were.

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Can you imagine a city in the United States secretly creating a Chinese-style public surveillance network that can identify everyone? Can you imagine that same city secretly creating a Chinese-style public watchlisting network? Well, imagine no more because it has already happened.

The Department of Homeland Security is rushing to implement a March 2017 executive order issued by President Trump mandating the use of facial recognition to identify "100 percent of all international passengers" - including American citizens, according to BuzzFeed.

In what can only be described as revolting, makers of facial and Iris recognition cameras are setting up an exhibit booth at a Film & Music Conference in America's heartland.

Across the country fire departments in Connecticut, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Illinois have begun encrypting their radio transmissions, effectively turning them into secret public safety organizations.

Arizona State University (ASU) which spent $307 million to renovate Sun Devil Stadium has learned a lot about Smart City surveillance.ASU used facial recognition to spy on alumni, students, faculty and families. And now they want to share what they learned by bringing it to a stadium or city near you.

International travelers can expect to see more facial recognition and other biometric technologies per the latest national security strategy document.

The die has been cast, whether it is digital drivers licenses, digital license plates, license plate readers or facial recognition cameras. Everyone from private corporations to law enforcement follows the same script; offer Americans customer loyalty rewards programs in exchange for the loss of their privacy.

UK police forces are increasingly experimenting with controversial new facial recognition (FR) technology for crowd control and locating suspects. Critics, however, have labeled the trials a shambles, pointing to the high error rate and even higher cost of the program.

Amazon is recording people's faces and saving the footage to identify them at a later date, in a move likely to concern privacy conscious users. The site wants to use five-second snippets of video to record a person's face if they wish to become a seller on the online marketplace. It may be able to use its facial recognition technology, called Rekognition, to identify users.

Facial recognition is used by more than a half dozen North Texas law enforcement agencies.

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