Ritchie Torres, a New York City council member, wants to reign in facial recognition, specifically companies using them for data mining (via Fast Company).
In October Mr. Torres introduced a bill that aims to bring more transparency to the use of biometric authentication like facial recognition. Businesses that use such scanning in public will be required to disclose its usage at the entrance.
Mr. Torres was specifically aghast at Madison Square Garden, when it used facial recognition to scan people upon entering. The technology was meant to identify “problem” attendees by matching their faces against those in a database.
We’re increasingly living in a marketplace where companies are collecting vast quantities of personal data without the public’s consent or knowledge. In a free and open society, I have the right to know whether a company is collecting my personal data, why a company is collecting my data, and whether a company will retain my data and for what purpose.
With his bill, business would have to put signs up at every entrance detailing “if and how they are collecting, retaining, converting, and storing the biometric data of their customers.” An an online part of the bill would require a company to disclose more information.
Facial recognition is starting to spread more across public areas. Airports, casinos, and various retailers are all using special software that runs on CCTV camera feeds. And currently there is no regulation on this technology at all.