Last year the Commerce Department put together a group to make recommendations for regulating facial recognition technology. The group included nine privacy advocates, but Dan Froomkin reports that it didn’t go well:
“At a base minimum, people should be able to walk down a public street without fear that companies they’ve never heard of are tracking their every movement — and identifying them by name — using facial recognition technology,” the privacy advocates wrote in a joint statement. “Unfortunately, we have been unable to obtain agreement even with that basic, specific premise.”
….After a dozen meetings, the most recent of which was last week, all nine privacy advocates who have participated in the entire process concluded that they were totally outgunned. “This should be a wake-up call to Americans: Industry lobbyists are choking off Washington’s ability to protect consumer privacy,” Alvaro Bedoya, executive director of the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law, said in a statement.
“People simply do not expect companies they’ve never heard of to secretly track them using this powerful technology. Despite all of this, industry associations have pushed for a world where companies can use facial recognition on you whenever they want — no matter what you say. This position is well outside the mainstream.”
I had no idea that anyone was even considering the regulation of facial recognition software, so this is news to me. It’s yet another indication that in the future we will have virtually no privacy left at all. Either that or we’ll all start walking around in tinfoil-shielded space suits whenever we leave our tinfoil-wallpapered houses.