New facial recognition bill would require consent before companies could share data

A new bill presented today in the Senate would prohibit commercial companies that use facial recognition technology from sharing people's data without their explicit consent.

The Bipartisan Commercial Facial Recognition Privacy Act is sponsored by Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) and is the first of its kind when it comes to facial recognition (FR) technologies and the privacy concerns that surround them. According to the bill, users should be notified each time their FR data is used. According to lawmakers, third-party testing would also be required before the technology could be introduced into the market to ensure that it is impartial and does not harm consumers.

"Consumers are increasingly concerned about the way their data is collected and used, including data collected through facial recognition technology," says Blunt. "That's why we need handrails to ensure that, as this technology continues to develop, it is implemented responsibly."

The bill won the support of Microsoft President Brad Smith, who said: "Facial recognition technology creates many new benefits for society." and must continue to develop. However, its use must be regulated to protect against acts of prejudice and discrimination, preserve consumer privacy and defend our basic democratic freedoms. "

Smith has previously requested the regulation of facial recognition technologies. In a blog post last June, he requested a public discussion involving new laws that impose supervision, responsibility and possible privacy rules that companies that provide these technologies should follow.

There are other pieces of legislation in the state and local levels, some would even prohibit the use of technology altogether.

"Our faces are our identities, they are personal. Therefore, it is the responsibility of companies to ask people for permission before they can trace and analyze their faces," said Schatz. "Our bill guarantees that people receive the information and, most importantly, control over how your data is shared with companies that use facial recognition technology. "

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