The United States Senators Brian Schatz and Roy Blunt have released a new bill that would rule out companies from utilizing Facial Recognition technology to distinguish an end user for different purposes without the user’s consent. The bill, dubbed as ‘Commercial Facial Recognition Privacy Act of 2019’, where Blunt stated that Consumers are increasingly concerned about how their data is being collected and used, including data collected through facial recognition technology. That’s why we need guardrails to ensure that, as this technology continues to develop, it is implemented responsibly.
On the other side, Senator Brian Schatz said that our faces are our identities. They’re personal. So the responsibility is on companies to ask people for their permission before they track and analyze their faces. Additionally, he noted that 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. As part of the announcement, the providers of Facial Recognition tech would have to meet Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NSIT) security standards. In the same context, Microsoft President Brad Smith December last year requested governments to regulate the rapid evolution of Facial Recognition technology. In his proposal, Smith stated that unless we act, we risk waking up five years from now to find that facial recognition services have spread in ways that exacerbate societal issues. By that time, these challenges will be much more difficult to bottle back up.
Coming to the bill, Smith said that Facial recognition technology creates many new benefits for society and should continue to be developed. Its use, however, needs to be regulated to protect against acts of bias and discrimination, preserve consumer privacy, and uphold our basic democratic freedoms.