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On December 8, 2011, the FTC hosted a workshop — "Face Facts: A Forum on Facial Recognition Technology" — to explore developments in the rapidly evolving field of facial recognition. Panelists discussed a number of issues, including: recent advances in facial recognition technologies; current and possible future commercial uses of facial recognition technologies; ways consumers can benefit from these uses; and privacy and security concerns raised.
Following the workshop, the FTC received eighty public comments discussing these issues. In this report, the FTC staff has synthesized those discussions and comments in order to develop recommended best practices for protecting consumer privacy in this area, while promoting innovation.
- obtaining individuals' affirmative consent before identifying them in anonymous images to someone who could not otherwise identify them;
- providing clear notice to individuals when using facial recognition to detect demographic characteristics;
- providing individuals with a choice about whether any data collected with facial recognition technology are shared with third parties; and
- implementing a specified retention period for personal data and disposing of stored images once they are no longer necessary for the purpose for which they were collected.