Privacy activists walk away from gov't-led talks with industry on facial recognition standards

IndustriesAssociated Press

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?

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.

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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."