Mitch Lipka of Reuters reports:
Facial recognition technology is starting to be more widely used in the banking industry as a fraud detection tool, as well as in other industries, such as to identify cheaters at casinos. It can capture demographic information about shoppers. It’s even used on Facebook. Because there is a potential for abuse, the Federal Trade Commission is starting to look into how the technologies are being implemented. The FTC is hosting a Washington, D.C. workshop on December 8 to determine what’s at stake in terms of privacy and security.
There’s a fine line between how the technology is being used now and where privacy experts are concerned it might go.
Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy for the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, says there’s nothing inherently wrong with using the technology. But there is a great deal of concern about how it can be used, and misused.
“Here, the concept is that each customer is going to have a profile. You now have a database of every customer of that bank,” he says. “One of the fundamental concepts of privacy is to minimize the amount of data that you have. Actually having your picture is not something that’s essential to engaging in a financial transaction.”
If consumers are given the choice to opt in to such a database, Stephens says there’s really no issue. But that’s unlikely to happen, he says.
“Is the consumer going to be aware of the fact that this technology is being used and will they have a right to decline? I’m guessing no and no,” he says.
Read more on The Hartford Courant.