Rockefeller asks FTC for report on privacy implications of facial recognition technology

Rockefeller expressed concern over a Facebook feature that suggests the names of friends in photos based on facial recognition software. He also pointed to a now-scrapped Google project that would have allowed a user to take a photo of someone and scan the Internet to find a match. He described one mobile app that monitors the age and gender statistics of crowds in bars.

“As in many fast growing and changing sectors, public policy has not kept pace with the development of this sort of technology,” Rockefeller wrote. “The privacy concerns are evident."                        

Rockefeller asked the FTC to suggest potential legislation to protect consumer privacy. 

"As the Commerce Committee considers privacy legislation in the future, we will need to understand the capabilities of this technology as well the privacy and security concerns raised by their development," he wrote.

The FTC is planning to hold a workshop to examine the implications of facial recognition software in December. Rockefeller asked the FTC to provide him with the report by February.