On June 16, 2015, the Consumer Federation of America announced in a joint statement with other privacy advocacy groups that they would no longer participate in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) multistakeholder process to develop a code of conduct regarding the commercial use of facial recognition technology. The letter was signed by the Center for Democracy & Technology, the Center for Digital Democracy, the Consumer Federation of America, Common Sense Media, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, Consumer Action, Consumer Watchdog and the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown University Law Center. This decision comes after 16 months of meetings and negotiations. In its announcement, the group highlighted its inability to come to an agreement with industry groups on how the issue of consumer consent would be addressed in a code of conduct regarding the use of facial recognition technology. Specifically, the disagreement between consumer and industry groups revolved around the default rule for consumer consent (i.e., whether the default should be opt-in or opt-out consent).
On June 15, the NTIA said it will continue the work on facial recognition rules. By way of a next step, a working group will continue discussions on consumer consent, anti-fraud uses of facial recognition technology and other related topics. After the discussions, the working group will draft a proposal for review by the NTIA prior to its next public meeting in July.
Read more information about the process.