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GovBytes: Congress Concerned About Facial Recognition Technology

As facial recognition technology has become popular for law enforcement purposes, Congress has become increasingly more concerned about privacy protection surrounding this software.

“As in many fast growing and changing sectors, public policy has not kept pace with the development of this sort of technology,” [Senator] Rockefeller wrote in a letter to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “The privacy concerns are evident. As the Commerce Committee considers privacy legislation in the future, we will need to understand the capabilities of this technology as well as the privacy and security concerns raised by their development.”

A free workshop on December 8 has been scheduled to discuss these issues because in January 2012 the FBI is planning on launching this software with several law enforcement agencies across the country.

While the facial recognition software does not provide exact matches, it takes the photo of a suspect and matches other photos in the system with similar features to that photo from the FBI’s biometric identification system. This issue will become even more complex, as the technology is due to be accessible on smartphone devices in the near future.

Do you think facial recognition technology breaches privacy?

Facial Recognition Technology Spurs Privacy Concerns for Feds

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“GovBytes” is a blog series created by GovLoop in partnership with Government Technology. If you see great a story on Gov Tech and want to ask a question around it, please send it to [email protected]

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