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The Atlantic – Who Owns Your Face?

The Atlantic – Who Owns Your Face?

Carl Szabo, a policy counsel at the e-commerce trade association NetChoice, is still participating in those talks on the industry side. He implied that he believed consent would not be needed in many situations.

“You, I, everyone has the right to take photographs in public,” he told Fusion. “Facial recognition can be applied immediately, or days later, or months later. If someone takes a photograph in public, and wants to apply facial recognition, should they really need to get consent in advance? Are they going to chase someone down the street to get them to fill out a form?”

Szabo said NetChoice had no position on this issue. But he said in an email that requiring consent before every use of the technology would “create universal complexities that would eliminate many of the benefits of facial recognition.” He then gave examples of some of these complexities:

Would a store need to get opt-in consent from a shoplifter before using facial-recognition technology? Should police get opt-in consent from a missing child before using this technology to find them? And should we have to get opt-in consent from every friend and family member before we tag him or her in our own photos?

First Amendment and consumer privacy experts also disagreed that a right to use facial-recognition software on someone flows naturally from “a right to take photographs in public,” as Szabo seemed to imply to Fusion.