Best Practices for Facial Recognition Technology Released by FTC

By Tuesday, October 23, 2012 0 , Permalink 0

In a report released today, FTC highlighted that the facial recognition technology is fairly young and that this ensures that as the industry evolves, it does so while respecting privacy of consumers. “Fortunately, the commercial use of facial recognition technologies is still young.”

“This creates a unique opportunity to ensure that as this industry grows, it does so in a way that respects the privacy interests of consumers while preserving the beneficial uses the technology has to offer.”

The FTC has developed the best practices while keeping sensitivity of places it can be deployed in; privacy and security as the focus areas. FTC wants companies to notify users when they are using facial-recognition techniques. FTC “recommends that companies take steps to make sure consumers are aware of facial recognition technologies when they come in contact with them, and that they have a choice as to whether data about them is collected.”

“If a company is using digital signs to determine the demographic features of passersby, such as age or gender, they should provide clear notice to consumers that the technology is in use before consumers come into contact with the signs.”

FTC also wants a company to get users’ consent if its going to use the collected data for purpose that wasn’t already conveyed before. Web giants like Facebook and Google have already deployed face-recognition technologies in their respective social networking sites. Facebook found itself on the receiving end in Europe and had to shut down this feature.

Making a special mention of social networking sites, FTC said that such sites should “provide consumers with clear notice about how the feature works, what data it collects, and how that data will be used.”