Report: Dept. of Commerce to issue facial recognition guidelines

Washington, D.C. -- The U.S, Department of Commerce will reportedly start meeting with companies including Facebook, Apple and Wal-Mart in February 2014 to create voluntary guidelines for the commercial use of facial recognition technology. According to Bloomberg, the Department of Commerce plans to have formal guidelines ready for release in June 2014.

The guidelines, which would only apply to commercial entities and not to government agencies, would require companies to notify consumers before using facial recognition technology and receive their permission to apply it to them. Companies that agreed to follow the guidelines and then failed to do so could face sanctions from trade groups as well as class action lawsuits.

A representative of the National Retail Federation (NRF), which will represent Wal-Mart at development talks with the Department of Commerce, is quoted as saying the NRF has concerns about stifling development of facial recognition technology before its full capabilities are known.

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