FTC Workshop to Address Privacy, Facial Recognition

By Fahmida Y. Rashid  |  Posted 2011-09-19 Print this article Print

The Federal Trade Commission is planning to hold a workshop to examine how increased use of facial recognition technology impacts consumer privacy and security. Facial recognition technology has been adopted in a variety of new contexts, ranging from online social networks to digital signs and mobile apps, the FTC said Sept. 19. The workshop will include consumer protection organizations, academics, business and industry representatives and privacy professionals.

The workshop will examine current and future uses of the technology, privacy and security concerns, legal issues, and how consumers benefit from its use. Consumers will need to consent before images can be collected and used, and there needs to be special considerations for children and teenagers, the FTC said. The workshop will also consider what consumer protections should be provided.

The workshop is scheduled to take place in Washington, DC on Dec. 8.

Facial recognition technology is used in many places, including Google's Picasa software and on Facebook. Microsoft is planning to use facial recognition technology as a secure authentication method in Windows 8. Facebook users were shocked when the social networking giant first introduced the feature because all the users had been opted in automatically to be tagged.

Security researchers have shown how even the most basic off-the-shelf facial recognition technology can be used to identify users posting anonymously online and uncovering private information.

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