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.
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The Senate on Sunday failed to reach agreement on a plan to fund the government through Feb. 8, postponing the vote until noon on Monday. "While lawmakers angled to score political points or shift blame, most agencies planned Monday to begin executing orderly shutdown procedures, per guidance from Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney."
"The Senate was expected to be back in session at noon, while House lawmakers were told to return to work for a 9 a.m. session. Mr. Trump on Friday had canceled plans to travel to his private resort on Palm Beach, Fla., where a celebration had been planned for Saturday to celebrate the anniversary of his first year in office."
"A stopgap spending bill stalled in the Senate Friday night, leading to a government shutdown for the first time since 2013. The continuing resolution funding agencies expired at midnight, and lawmakers were unable to spell out any path forward to keep government open. The Senate on Friday night failed to reach cloture on a four-week spending bill the House had already approved."