Familiar Face: Privacy Caucus Urges Further Exploration of Use of Facial Recognition Technology

??Members share FTC’s concerns over privacy, ask Commission to keep eye on commercial utilization of new technology

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Several members of the Bi-Partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus sent a letter Tuesday to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Jon Leibowitz echoing the Commission's concern about the commercial use of facial recognition and detection technologies and urging it to make sure their application doesn’t impact the level of protection for consumer’s personal information.

In early December, the FTC held a workshop titled, “Face Facts: A Forum on Facial Recognition Technology.” The workshop explored the use of these new technologies, which companies assert enhance the user experience, and sought to educate the public on how these technologies are being used today.

Caucus members echoed FTC concerns that facial recognition for commercial use raises privacy concerns and deserves thoughtful oversight.

As companies continue to develop and deploy these new technologies, clear policies guiding the implementation, operation, and maintenance of these technologies is essential. Companies must also be transparent about the usage of consumer’s personal information. Finally, consumers should have the choice to affirmatively opt-in to being subject to facial recognition or detection,” wrote co-Chairmen of the Privacy Caucus, Reps. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), as well as members Reps. MichaelBurgess (R-Texas), Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.).

A copy of the letter to the FTC Chairman can be found by clicking HERE.

Reps. Markey and Barton have introduced the “Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011”, legislation that amends the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 to extend, enhance and update the provisions relating to the collection, use and disclosure of children’s personal information.  The legislation also establishes new protections for the personal information of children and teens.


 ###