A large coalition of organizations and trade associations has asked Congress to reconsider public bans on facial recognition technology. The group sent a letter to leading Democrat and Republican lawmakers, encouraging them to establish clear federal guidelines in collaboration with industry representatives.
According to the Security Identity Association (SIA), the letter is part of a broader effort to educate legislators and the general public about the social benefits of facial recognition. The SIA stands as one of the organizations that signed the letter to Congress, and argues that facial recognition can be used to find missing persons and boost security and reduce wait times at airports, amongst other applications.
“Recent calls for bans on facial recognition technology are based on a misleading picture of how the technology works and is used today,” said SIA CEO Don Erickson. “As a representative of companies that provide and leverage facial recognition, SIA believes this technology should be used in a safe, accurate and effective way, and we look forward to working with Congress to set the example on how to ethically and responsibly govern this technology.”
The letter would seem to be an attempt to stem the public’s growing concern over facial recognition. Cities like San Francisco and Oakland have already banned the public use of the technology, while Bernie Sanders has made a police ban a key feature of his Presidential campaign. The International Biometrics + Identity Association (IBIA), on the other hand, has asked for the San Francisco ban to be repealed, suggesting that such legislation should not be passed without consulting those with a more vested interest in the technology.
The IBIA also signed the recent letter to Congress alongside the SIA. The other organizations backing the letter include the North American branch of the Airports Council International, the American Association of Airport Executives, the Consumer Technology Association, the Global Business Travel Association, the Identification Technology Association, NetChoice and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
October 22, 2019 – by Eric Weiss