FB pixel

GAO report shows a need for privacy guidelines regarding facial recognition

 

Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) said the recently-released Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on facial recognition technology serves as “a reminder” that federal laws relating to the technology must be amended in order to protect privacy, according to a report by Broadcasting Cable.

In the report, the GAO found that federal laws do not actively address the technology, particularly in regards to how facial recognition information can be used or shared.

The National Telecommunications & Information Administration held a stakeholder meeting earlier this week to review two sets of stakeholder draft guidelines.

Though the GAO report said that these efforts to implement volunteer guidelines is “a positive step toward incorporating privacy considerations into the development and use of facial recognition technology,” it also emphasized that views “vary” on the effectiveness of such volunteer guidelines.

Several privacy groups have dropped out of the facial recognition multistakeholder process, stating that they are uncertain the meetings will result in effective best practices.

The report found that digital signs, which typically come in the fort of TV monitors in stores or Kiosks displaying advertising, were being used to “recognize characteristics of the viewer, such as gender or age range, and target advertisements accordingly.”

The report also states that Google said it does not share, nor does it have plans to share, “information associated with facial recognition technology without user consent, except in very limited circumstances as described in its privacy policy (i.e., with domain administrators, for external processing by company affiliates or trusted parties, or for legal reasons)”.

Despite Google’s denial of sharing the facial recognition data with third-parties, it is unclear what external processing by those parties would entail.

The report is the result of Franken’s request last year to the GAO to examine the privacy implications of the commercial use of facial recognition technology.

“The newly released report raises serious concerns about how companies are collecting, using, and storing our most sensitive personal information,” said Franken. “I believe that all Americans have a fundamental right to privacy, which is why it’s important that, at the very least, the tech industry adopts strong, industry-wide standards for facial recognition technology.

“But what we really need are federal standards that address facial recognition privacy by enhancing our consumer privacy framework…. the privacy issues stakeholders have raised about facial recognition technology and other biometric technologies serve as yet another example of the need to adapt federal privacy law to reflect new technologies.”

These privacy issues include that the technology can be used to monitor people’s movements, to identify and discriminate against the poor, elderly or minorities, or to ensure that those individuals who opt out of using the technology are denied access to certain products or services.

Although the GAO did not make any rash conclusions in the report, it did recommend that “Congress consider strengthening the consumer privacy framework to reflect” facial recognition technology.

Article Topics

 |   |   |   |   |   | 

Latest Biometrics News

 

The UK’s election may spell out the future of its national ID cards

Identity cards are back among the UK’s top controversial topics – thanks to the upcoming elections and its focus on…

 

Challenges in face biometrics addressed with new tech and research amid high stakes

Big biometrics contracts and deals were the theme of several of the stories on that drew the most interest from…

 

Online age verification debates continue in Canada, EU, India

Introducing age verification to protect children online remains a hot topic across the globe: Canada is debating the Online Harms…

 

Login.gov adds selfie biometrics for May pilot

America’s single-sign on system for government benefits and services, Login.gov, is getting a face biometrics option for enhanced identity verification…

 

BIPA one step closer to seeing its first major change since 2008 inception

On Thursday, a bipartisan majority in the Illinois Senate approved the first major change to Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act…

 

Identity verification industry mulls solutions to flood of synthetic IDs

The advent of AI-powered generators such as OnlyFake, which creates realistic-looking photos of fake IDs for only US$15, has stirred…

Comments

22 Replies to “GAO report shows a need for privacy guidelines regarding facial recognition”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Read From This Week

Featured Company

Biometrics Insight, Opinion

Digital ID In-Depth

Biometrics White Papers

Biometrics Events