back to article Let's face it. We need to face up to facing off with face-recog tech, say US senators: Bipartisan AI privacy law proposed

A pair of US Senators from across the aisle on Thursday introduced a bill to limit how facial recognition technology can be used. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) have proposed the Commercial Facial Recognition Privacy Act of 2019 as a way to provide people with some measure of privacy protection from face-scanning …

  1. David 45

    UK similar

    I sent a standard mail to our UK police authorities, protesting about the facial recognition trials in the UK and got this boiler-plate back:


    Thank you for your e-mail to the Commissioner’s Private Office.

    A total of ten deployments have been carried out across London as part of the Met's trial of Live Facial Recognition technology.

    During each deployment, the technology was used overtly with a clear uniformed presence. Information leaflets were distributed to the public and posters with information about the technology were displayed in the area.

    Throughout the ten deployments, a total of eight arrests were made as a direct result of the flagging system.

    While those who declined to be scanned were not necessarily viewed as suspicious, officers used their judgement to identify any potential suspicious behaviour.

    The Met continues to engage with many different stakeholders, some of who actively challenge our use of this technology. In order to show transparency and continue constructive debate, individuals and groups with varying views were invited to each deployment.

    The technology tested during the trial is developing all the time and has the potential to be invaluable to day-to-day policing. Tackling violent crime is a key priority for the Met and we are determined to use all emerging technology available to support standard policing activity and help protect our communities.

    A full independent evaluation of the deployments and the technology itself is ongoing and expected to conclude in April. We will use the findings to help inform how the Met uses the technology in the future and will publish the findings at the earliest possibility.

    We believe facial recognition can be an extremely valuable tool to keep London and its citizens safe, alongside other tactical methods we deploy. The public will rightly expect our use of this technology to be rigorously scrutinised and used lawfully. During the Met’s trial phase we have made use of existing legislation however there is currently no specific legal framework in the use of this technology and we are therefore keen to ensure that the appropriate legal and ethical frameworks are put in place to support its use.

    Existing legislation which supports the Met’s use of facial recognition technology, has been published on the force’s website. This provides information about why the Met is trialling the technology, where and when it has been used and how we will engage with Londoners during the deployments. More information can be found here:

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: UK similar

      "however there is currently no specific legal framework in the use of this technology"

      How about the right to privacy?!

      Why is eveyone talking as if this is inevitable? It's not. We don't need it, many don't want it, and it's unethical and will lead to false positives in spades. ML is not that good, look at any live news feed with subtitles if you want evidence. Computers are not that good at recognising things. Between this, fingerprints and DNA all considered infallable justice goes out of the window.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: UK similar

        In the open streets and in locations operated by the government, last I checked, there is no expectation of privacy.

        1. Pseu Donyme

          Re: UK similar

          The people who happen to be present (if any) being able to see you is one thing, being recorded and the record used for whatever purpose - potentially forever - is quite another.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: UK similar

            But so is using the state's resources and not expecting the state to keep tabs on their use. Or haven't you noticed that freedom can be its own worst enemy?

          2. DiViDeD

            Re: UK similar

            No expectation of privacy also applies to photographers and videographers who might be taking happy snaps in the area.

            The only exception is the case where the images are to be put to commercial use, although even then, a tog is unlikely to seek releases from a crowd of 1,000 or so marchers.

    2. Trollslayer

      Re: UK similar

      And of those eight identifications were any correct?

    3. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: UK similar

      I just got my council tax bill and I'm paying £194/year for my sexist police commissioner. They continue to be a horrific misuse of public money and trust.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let's ensure ..

    .. that we never lose the right to wear overly large sunglasses, because that's where we're heading with this.

    Ridiculous, but true :(

    1. DiViDeD

      Re: Let's ensure ..

      I always find that a hoodie ringed with infra red LEDs adds a certain something to a fashion ensemble.

    2. ratfox

      Re: Let's ensure ..

      There are countries where hiding your face is forbidden. I believe it's long been the case in Switzerland, and there's been a recent attempt in France.

  3. Alex Read

    @David 45... "While those who declined to be scanned were not necessarily viewed as suspicious, officers used their judgement to identify any potential suspicious behaviour"... made me think of constable savage reading that! XcD

    In general though, I thought Facebook, Google etc. owned the senate so was surprised to read this one getting even considered!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Big tech knows where this is going, and it frightens them. First, there will be the inevitable public backlash ending it open boycotting of their products -- all of their products. Second, the use of this tech in court will reveal its unreliability, discrediting and devaluing it to the point of worthlessness. The combination of the two will end many companies and careers.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    leagle to use fase regog soft ware but try hiding your face ( if you are white) and see how much trouble you get into,

    annomouse marsks, my favorite the trump marsk, worn in public will get you arrested, ( in most cuntrys)

    hocky masks are good and can be personalised tho this dose defiet the purpose.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Facial recognition technology creates many new benefits for society "

    They mean it brings profits and benefits to someone - but does the whole society really benefit from it? Some are advocating not to sell it to governments, but selling it to commercial entities is much different? I don't want to be tracked in any shop, restaurant, etc. I enter. Or in any image with me in someone could upload somewhere (I don't upload them anywhere).

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