Facial recognition technology has made some huge strides in recent years. Facebook’s DeepFace and Google’s FaceNet algorithms already allow them to identify you and your friends in photos with amazing accuracy. Microsoft hosts billboards that can recognize you when you walk by, and a plethora of other unknown companies and applications are using this technology every day. Businesses are using it to track buyer behavior and purchase history, while government and state agencies may be using it to identify you almost anywhere. In fact, facial recognition devices may be capturing your image every single day without your knowledge.
Currently, there are no federal laws tracking or restricting facial recognition technology. There are a few states, Illinois and Texas to be specific, which have laws against using this technology without consent. As for the rest of us? There is nothing governing our biometric privacy. It is likely that your face has been scanned a number of times already. For some living in urban areas or regularly visiting certain locations, it’s possible your face is being analyzed daily. Law enforcement uses this technology every day. The FBI already has data on nearly one-third of Americans, and that number is growing. Technology moves so fast, we are often tailing behind, missing the mark when it comes to legality issues. The question going forward is, how will the law regulate a technology that is already well-established into a number of industries? It seems it may already be too late to protect the right to be unseen.