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    NextGov: Facial recognition apps spark privacy concerns in Congress

    NextGov reports on privacy questions concerning facial recognition systems as the biometric technology become more popular:

    As social media firms and law enforcement agencies increasingly use facial recognition technology to facilitate public and online service, privacy issues surrounding the commercial apps, at least, are raising eyebrows in Congress.

    On Wednesday, Sen. John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, D-W.Va., chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, requested a report from the Federal Trade Commission on the security implications of facial recognition technology. He anticipates the recommendations will help the committee update legislation regulating online privacy.

    The agency is holding a Dec. 8 workshop where businesses and the public are expected to tackle issues such as whether consent should be required from individuals before their images are matched and what benefits the science might offer. […]

    In Wednesday’s letter, Rockefeller asked whether there should be special protections for the use of facial recognition on or by young people, among other things.

    Current law bars certain online companies from collecting personal data from children under age 13 without parental consent. FTC plans to change the way it enforces the law — known as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act — to keep pace with rapid advances in technology. A proposed rule issued last month would broaden protections to ensure parents were notified and given the chance to decide whether they want their children to be able to upload their images.

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