Following up on its “Face Facts” workshop that brought together a variety of stakeholders to discuss the privacy issues relating to commercial uses of facial recognition technology, the FTC has announced that it is seeking public comment on the issues raised at the workshop. According to the Commission, these issues include:
- What are the current and future commercial uses of these technologies?
- How can consumers benefit from the use of these technologies?
- What are the privacy and security concerns surrounding the adoption of these technologies, and how do they vary depending on how the technologies are implemented?
- Are there special considerations that should be given for the use of these technologies on or by populations that may be particularly vulnerable, such as children?
- What are best practices for providing consumers with notice and choice regarding the use of these technologies?
- Are there situations where notice and choice are not necessary? By contrast, are there contexts or places where these technologies should not be deployed, even with notice and choice?
- Is notice and choice the best framework for dealing with the privacy concerns surrounding these technologies, or would other solutions be a better fit? If so, what are they?
- What are best practices for developing and deploying these technologies in a way that protects consumer privacy?
The comments received, as well as the proceedings from the workshop, apparently will provide the basis for a report to the Senate Commerce Committee that will contain the FTC’s policy recommendations with respect to facial recognition technologies. In an October 2011 letter to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (who chairs the Commerce Committee) requested this report and asked specifically that it include “potential legislative approaches to protect consumer privacy as this technology proliferates.”
Comments are due January 31, 2012.