The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has released “best practices” guidelines for companies that use facial recognition technology. For many of us, tagging friends on Facebook or handing over biometric information may not seem like such a big deal — but that information, stored on servers worldwide, can sometimes border on privacy infringement. Commercially, it’s no longer a rare thing for such technology to be used — but as adoption expands, if agencies wish to protect consumer rights, guidelines at the least should be implemented. The new FTC report, titled “Facing Facts: Best Practices for Common Uses of Facial Recognition Technologies,” is aimed at guiding businesses through the murky waters of using facial recognition for innovative products, but at the same time maintaining consumer privacy and rights. The FTC notes (emphasis mine): “[The report is] intended to provide guidance to commercial entities that are using or plan to use facial recognition technologies in their products and services. However, to the extent the recommended best practices go beyond existing legal requirements, they are not intended to serve as a template for law enforcement actions or regulations under laws currently enforced by the FTC.” The Commission’s recommendations include: Companies should design their services with consumer privacy in mind; They should develop “reasonable security protections” for data collection, and maintain sound methods over what information to keep, and what to discard; The sensitive nature of information should be considered — as an example, using facial recognition technology near children, changing rooms or toilets isn’t advisable; Finally, consumers should be well-informed… [Read full story]
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