Submission Number: 00065
Received: 1/21/2012 6:26:40 PM
Commenter: Rachael Boyer
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Face Facts: A Forum on Facial Recognition Technology; Project No. P115406
Attachments: No Attachments
While facial recognition technology makes tagging photos on Facebook quicker, it's a concerning technology with many risks.
If not properly regulated, the technology could lead to many dangers for vulnerable populations such as children, or give way too much information to those who would use it for harm, and/or lead to giving too much information to government via "big brother" monitoring. It could also be greatly misused by stores/advertisers/marketers looking to better target their audience.
Obviously such technology could be quite useful to law enforcement, looking for criminal suspects, fugitives and the like, however, at what cost to the privacy of the average citizen? Limiting law enforcers use of the technology to people with a criminal record, instead of giving cart blanche authority would be a start.
Having people "opt in" to the use of the technology seems most appropriate. I only want my friends to be able to use the technology to find my face in photos. However, I do not want anyone on the street to take a photo of me, upload it to Facebook, and use the technology to find out who I am! This type of misuse could give way to much information to stalkers, rapists, thieves and con artists. I also shudder to think how this technology could be misused by a pedophile sitting outside a school if a parent had not set up proper privacy controls. This is why it's so important for it to be an "opt-in" only technology.
On the other hand, it could also be used to help locate missing children, runaways, etc... But if that was the case, who would be allowed to use the technology for that purpose? Parents only? Law enforcement, but only with permission from parents?
Bottom line is that I firmly believe that facial recognition technology has so much potential for good and harm that it should be closely regulated and required to be an opt-in technology.