WASHINGTON – Retailers have the ability to scan your face digitally, and use that identification to offer you special prices or even recognize you as a prior shoplifter. But should they use it? Should they get your permission first?
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Privacy advocates say they have walked away from a government-run effort with industry intended to answer these questions. The idea behind the negotiations was to hash out voluntary protocols for facial recognition technology in a way that doesn't hurt consumers. The Commerce Department was acting as a mediator.
The two sides had been meeting for 16 months, including last week. But nine major privacy groups announced Tuesday that they had hit a dead end and that "people deserve more protection than they are likely to get in this forum."