After more than a year of discussions, all nine privacy advocates have stormed out of a government-organized “multi-stakeholder process” to sort out details around the best practices for facial recognition technology.
The sticking point was that corporations apparently refused to concede that there was any scenario during which a person’s consent to scan their face was needed.
“When we came in [last] Thursday, [we proposed] that in general, there will be exceptions, but the default for identifying unknown people is that you get permission before you identify them using facial recognition,” Alvaro Bedoya, one of the nine participating advocates and a law professor at Georgetown University, told Ars. “Not a single trade association or company would agree with that premise. That’s remarkable. Google is opt-in on facial recognition, Microsoft is opt-in on facial recognition, Facebook isn’t, but they’ve gotten sued and also had to turn it off in Europe. So not only does it go against state law, it goes against industry practice. Consumers deserve more.”
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