In an August poll of Massachusetts residents, 66 percent said law enforcement should not be precluded from using new technologies such as facial recognition, 64 percent believed facial recognition technology has the potential to enhance safety and only 15 percent would limit law enforcement’s use of the technology at the expense of public safety.
Facial recognition technology has become a lightning rod for debate in Massachusetts.
Proponents of the technology — and, yes, I’m one of them — argue that it helps law enforcement
to investigate and solve crime. Opponents say the technology has outpaced the law and needs
to be regulated.
I think the answer is simple: lawmakers should debate the issues; legislate reasonable
safeguards, if needed; and enable law enforcement to get on with using a valuable tool to find
criminals and keep our communities safe.
Carl Szabo, Vice President of the e-commerce trade association NetChoice, says Texas and Illinois state laws requiring consent from customers for businesses to use facial recognition are too stringent, but that the increased transparency driven by Torres’ bill could ease consumer concerns about the technology.
“It’s really curtailing innovation,” Carl Szabo, general counsel for NetChoice, an internet trade group that represents companies like Facebook, Google, and Yahoo, told BuzzFeed News. ”It’s making Illinois a technology desert.”
Carl Szabo, a senior policy counsel at NetChoice, an association for online companies, says that because “the legislative process cannot move at the speed of technology,” the industry has recently published privacy guidelines for the use facial recognition. They recommend businesses: Be transparent about using the technology; ensure the data are kept secure; and give consumers some control over how that information is used.
“Today proves that stakeholders from different worlds with diverse priorities can come together to develop industry guidelines that promote innovation and protect personal privacy,” said Carl Szabo, senior policy counsel for NetChoice. “From customer service to finding lost dogs, to photo organizing, developers of facial recognition applications will now have ‘rules of the road’ as they develop the latest and greatest tech products and applications. This is by no means the end of facial recognition guidelines but the NTIA has led a successful effort that has built a strong foundation that will enable U.S. consumers to reap the benefits of a valuable technology that will make life more convenient and secure.”
NetChoice’s Carl Szabo, a member of the industry working group, told MT that “nobody is trying to hide the ball.” He added that, “those of us who believe that having guidelines is better than having nothing have been continuing to work.”