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 US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday overturned North Carolina's 2013 voter ID law, saying it was passed with “discriminatory intent." The decision sends the case back to the district judge who initially dismissed challenges to the law. "The ruling prohibits North Carolina from requiring photo identification from voters in future elections, including the November 2016 general election, restores a week of early voting and preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds, and ensures that same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting will remain in effect."
An oil pipeline almost as long as the much-debated Keystone XL has won final approval to transport crude from North Dakota to Illinois, traveling through South Dakota and Iowa along the way. "The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave the final blessing to the Dakota Access pipeline on Tuesday. Developers now have the last set of permits they need to build through the small portion of federal land the line crosses, which includes major waterways like the Mississippi and the Missouri rivers. The so-called Bakken pipeline goes through mostly state and private land."
The U.S. economy grew at an anemic 1.2% in the second quarter, "well below the 2.6% growth economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast." Consumer spending was "robust," but it was offset by "cautious" business investment. "Since the recession ended seven years ago, the expansion has failed to achieve the breakout growth seen in past recoveries. "The average annual growth rate during the current business cycle, 2.1%, remains the weakest of any expansion since at least 1949."
Sen. Chuck Schumer, the majority leader in waiting, not only thinks his party will take the Senate this fall, but that it's on the cusp of an era of "electoral dominance." He told Politico: “We’re going to have a Democratic generation. [President Barack Obama] helped create it. But it’s just where America’s moving demographically, ideologically and in every way. We’ll have a mandate to get something done.”
"Vice President Joe Biden will appear in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit that will mention the backlog of untested rape kits in many cities, as well as efforts to end violence against women—an issue close to Biden, who authored the Violence Against Women Act in 1994." He'll be in New York to tape the episode today.