Close this menu

Vice – Facial Recognition Technology Is Big Business — And It’s Coming For You

Vice – Facial Recognition Technology Is Big Business — And It’s Coming For You

Carl Szabo, a lawyer with NetChoice — a tech industry group that represents companies like Facebook, Google, and Yahoo — was also in attendance. He thinks consent might well be a non-starter for consumers. From the industry’s perspective, requiring permission at every step of the process — from the gathering of facial images online to the use of camera systems — would prove too cumbersome.

“We don’t know if consumers want a pop-up notice every time they upload a photograph to a service, or if consumers want to sign a form every time they enter a store,” he told VICE News.

Szabo also suspects that privacy advocates are gunning for an outright ban on facial recognition technology. “Some people may want to make this technology illegal before it has a chance to grow,” he said. Though he acknowledged that balancing privacy and progress is a challenge, he expressed confidence that the tech industry is committed to giving consumers “meaningful control” over their faceprints.

“We recognize the creepy, but we don’t want to stifle innovation,” he remarked. “If we cross that line from cool to creepy, people will stop using that service.”

Szabo and the companies he represents predict that privacy concerns will fade as consumers begin to understand the benefits of the new technology. “Imagine you walk into a Nordstroms, a camera scans your face, recognizes you, and knows what shirt you bought on your last visit,” he said. “Then, the salesperson can recommend a matching tie — that’s just good customer service.”