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Rank One to campaign for ethical facial recognition commitment from providers

Rank One to campaign for ethical facial recognition commitment from providers

Rank One Computing has declared its intention to take “a strong stand” on ethics in facial recognition use, in coordination with the Security Industry Association (SIA).

The company wants the industry to formulate and embrace a code of ethics that includes privacy protections, and addresses the complex legal and privacy issues raised especially by face biometrics in video surveillance, law enforcement and access control.

The patchwork of state and municipal regulations in the U.S. is invoked as a challenge for users and integrators to navigate.

“Our industry has an obligation to meet the public’s valid concerns about privacy.  FR technology can and does play a significant role in protecting our citizens and our way of life,” comments Rank One COO and General Counsel David Ray. “At Rank One, we are committed to ensuring that FR deployments respect civil liberties, and we encourage our industry partners to join us in that commitment.”

Ray will publicly launch Rank One’s campaign seeking an industry-wide commitment to ethical facial recognition at the upcoming ConnectID in October. He will present his ideas for what the commitment should consist of and how to secure it in a plenary session, and host a roundtable discussion with other stakeholders.

Commercial and law enforcement uses of facial recognition are increasing, and the technology’s use for criminal investigations, as well as public safety, national security and border control has strong public support in surveys, the company says. A significant minority, however conflates facial recognition with surveillance and is concerned about the creation of dystopian societies. Rank One suggests that concerns around privacy and racial equality with law enforcement deployments of facial recognition, and around data protection with commercial deployments, must be addressed by the industry.

Industry action should take the form of proactive support for customers engaged in ethical uses of facial recognition, while “aggressive efforts” to deploy it in new and controversial applications should be avoided, according to the announcement.

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