An important new U.S. bill is seeking to just down the use of facial recognition (FR) technology data gathering and sharing. The Commercial Facial Recognition Privacy Act is a bipartisan bill that would stop companies from using people's data that is gathered from facial recognition tech, such as FaceID.
Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) have sponsored the bill, which highlights concerns around facial recognition technology. If passed, new laws would give users the right to be notified when data is being collected from FR.
Authorities will also seek independent testing of FR solutions to ensure they are consumer-friendly before being made available.
“Consumers are increasingly concerned about how their data is being collected and used, including data collected through facial recognition technology,” Blunt says. “That's why we need guardrails to ensure that, as this technology continues to develop, it is implemented responsibly.”
Microsoft Wants Regulations
Despite potentially conflicting with tech companies, the bill has been welcomed by Microsoft. The company's chief lawyer and president, Brad Smith, said the while FR tech is exciting, it should not be abused:
“Facial recognition technology creates many new benefits for society and should continue to be developed. Its use, however, needs to be regulated to protect against acts of bias and discrimination, preserve consumer privacy, and uphold our basic democratic freedoms.”
Regulations around FR is something Microsoft has called for before. In December, the company agreed a regulatory framework was needed following its discovered involvement in ICE.
Microsoft was caught out earlier in the year when its link with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) became clear.
Users noted that its platform powered the ICE's facial recognition technology as children were being split from their parents at the border.