Representatives from major technology firms including Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Microsoft joined the Commerce Department as it began its examination of facial recognition technology today.
The talks are aimed at developing a code of conduct for applying privacy principles to facial recognition technology. Today’s session was a factual discussion of how the technology is currently used and what privacy safeguards already exist. Facebook and Microsoft have said they will participate in the development of a code. Google said it is not formally participating, and Yahoo said it will monitor the process.
Alvaro Bedoya, an aide for Sen. Al Franken, also joined the discussion. In a 20-page letter last year, Franken called on the Commerce Department to focus its efforts on facial recognition, and this week he criticized NameTag, a facial recognition app for Google Glass, for its lack of respect for privacy.
Also represented were trade organizations like the Information Technology Industry Council, NetChoice, the Association for Competitive Technology and the Application Developers Alliance, as well as several privacy advocacy organizations like the Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Action and the American Civil Liberties Union.
— Erin Mershon