Face Facts: A Forum on Facial Recognition Technology, Project No. P115406
I am a consumer and am opposed to the use of facial recognition in billboard advertisng and other places for commercial use. I am opposed because: 1) I do not want my privacy invaded by this technology. I don't want businesses making judgements about me based on my appearance so they can serve an advertisment. 2) There is no doubt in my mind that the images are going to be stored and used in other ways. This is what businesses will do. For example, the owner of the billboard will provide the images to businesses in, say, the Mall where it is located. The business will have facial recognition cameras too (eventually) so a complete pattern of which stores you are going to can be created. Even worse, this technology, when implemented by retail establishments, will allow the store to identify you as soon as you walk in. They will have a system for sales people that will bring up all the information about you they have in their systems (and information they bought about you from others) on a screen based on the facial recognition. Then the sales rep will approach you and out of the blue say "Hi, Mr. Jones, how are you today?" This is creepy!! It will happen, it is the next step in this process. 3) Businesses can use the stored facial images to do Web searches on you and find out all about you against your will. For example, they will be able to conduct searches on say, Facebook or other social networking sites, and match their stored image with your posted photos and obtain your personal information as well. Also, they could sell these images, along with the specific information about you (name, address, etc.) to other companies who could use them in their hiring process. For example, a Human Resources person could use the image to conduct a Web search to find links that have your facial picture. If your friends, family, love interests, etc. have posted pictures of you, then the business you are trying to get a job with could get insight into your life or love interests when you have not authorized them to do so. This WILL happen. It is inevitable if we allow facial recognition applications to be used for commercial purposes. Business will always find a way to exploit the information it has as long as it can make money doing it. Selling peoples' facial information would be a huge business for those who have both your picture and demographic information. 4) There are security issues as well. Once your picture has been connected to your personal information, and sold widely, it could get in the hands of criminals and terrorists around the world. This would be a boon to those involved in identity theft since they would have a picture of you that they could use to create false documents. I am getting to the point where I see more negatives to the use and application of technology than I see positives. I am un-nerved to have to be constantly videotaped and photographed to the point where I avoid places...I don't want to become a hermit! We need to create laws around the use of technology as it relates to our privacy. Technology has become too intrusive and people can't do anything anymore anonymously. This is bad because it limits what people can do who don't want everyone knowing their business, who they are, and where they are going to. I see a huge problem for this country down the road if laws are not established to protect peoples' privacy. Technology has done great things for humanity, no doubt, but there is a severe dark side to it with respect to privacy and we now have to protect ourselves from its use in certain applications and environments through strong laws and regulations.