Facial recognition is everywhere — but there’s no laws that limit what businesses can do with that data. Two senators on Thursday introduced the Commercial Facial Recognition Privacy Act, which would prevent businesses from collecting facial recognition data on customers, and using it without their consent. That would mean that businesses could not use facial recognition to identify and track customers that walk into their stores unless they are given permission. Facial recognition is powerful technology that allows businesses and government agencies to identify people based on their image alone. It’s primarily used by police, but increasingly, more businesses are adopting the technology. It is currently being used at airports, concerts and venues like Madison Square Garden — all without any privacy regulations limiting what these businesses can do with the data it’s collected on people’s faces. If passed, the proposed legislation would be the first federal law on facial recognition and privacy. The bipartisan bill was introduced by senators Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri, and Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii. “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,” Sen. Schatz said in a statement. The call for regulation on facial recognition doesn’t just come from lawmakers — tech giants in Silicon Valley have also warned about the its potential to uproot your privacy. That includes Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, who supported the proposed bill. In a statement,… [Read full story]
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