As facial-reading technology gains momentum, policymakers are stepping up to check inherent privacy risks connected to the technology.
“[Facial-recognition technology] has serious implications for consumer privacy and personal safety,” Franken said in a letter to NTIA. “Unfortunately, our privacy laws provide no express protections for facial-recognition data; under current law, any company can use facial-recognition technology on anyone without getting their permission—and without any meaningful transparency.”
The technology presents numerous opportunities to make customer service seamless, improve identification, and create opportunities for innovation. For example, The New York Times reports face-reading software could detect if a student was confused and provide them with extra tutoring.
But as facial data is collected and becomes readily available, there is a deficiency of laws to protect a user’s control over the use and distribution of this information.
“Digital images are increasingly available, and the importance of securing faceprints and ensuring consumers’ appropriate control over their data is clear,” said Lawrence Strickling, assistant secretary for communications and information for the Commerce Departgment and NTIA’s administrator.
Stakeholders will convene for the first meeting on Feb. 6, with additional meetings to be scheduled throughout the spring and summer.
The Commerce Department agency began the privacy multistakeholder process in 2012 as part of the Obama administration’s effort to implement a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights. Its first topic—privacy notifications on mobile devices—took more than a year to complete.
What We're Following See More »
In a statement Friday, Sen. John McCain wrote, "I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal. I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried. Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will effect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it. Without a full CBO score, which won't be available by the end of the month, we won't have reliable answers to any of those questions." His "no" vote makes it much less likely Republicans will repeal and replace Obamacare by Sept. 30.
As anticipated, the Department of Education today withdrew the controversial Obama-era "Dear Colleague" letter on campus sexual assault, replacing it with new interim guidance. Most notably, the new guidance permits colleges to use a “clear and convincing” standard of evidence, rather than the preponderance of evidence standard that the 2011 letter seemed to mandate. "The new guidance also states that colleges may facilitate informal resolutions, including mediation, if all parties agree to participate in that process."
"The Trump administration will unveil more tailored restrictions on travelers from certain countries as a replacement to the controversial travel ban, according to a senior administration official. The new restrictions will vary by country. They could include a ban on travel to the United States, or new restrictions on obtaining a visa for citizens of particular countries." They are expected to be unveiled by Sunday.
In a live-streamed address from Silicon Valley, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced a nine-point plan that the tech giant is rolling out over coming months to respond to "efforts by nation-states and private actors to use the social media platform to influence U.S. elections." Most importantly, the company will force all advertisers to disclose what ads they're running to all audiences. “When someone buys political ads on TV or other media, they’re required by law to disclose who paid for them,” Zuckerberg said. “But you still don’t know if you’re seeing the same messages as everyone else. So we’re going to bring Facebook to an even higher standard of transparency. Not only will you have to disclose which page paid for an ad, but we will also make it so you can visit an advertiser’s page and see the ads they’re currently running to any audience on Facebook.”
As "part of a broader Trump administration order for anti-leaks training at all executive branch agencies," Environmental Protection Agency employees "are attending mandatory training sessions this week to reinforce their compliance with laws and rules against leaking classified or sensitive government information ... Relatively few EPA employees deal with classified files, but the new training also reinforces requirements to keep 'Controlled Unclassified Information' from unauthorized disclosure."