On June 15, 2016, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued its facial recognition best practices, which were developed by a multi-stakeholder group convened by NTIA. The best practices document, titled “Privacy Best Practice Recommendations for Commercial Facial Recognition Use,” is intended to be a code of conduct for the commercial use of facial recognition technology.

The best practices are considered voluntary, but they encourage those using facial template data to:

  • be transparent about the collection, storage and use of personal data;
  • develop facial template data management practices;
  • allow individuals the opportunity to control the disclosure and sharing of their facial template data;
  • implement appropriate security measures to protect the data; and
  • allow consumers to contact the business regarding its use of facial template data.

The guidelines are “intended to provide a flexible and evolving approach to the use of facial recognition technology, designed to keep pace with the dynamic marketplace surrounding these technologies.”

Following the issuance of the best practices by NTIA, The International Biometrics + Identity Association (IBIA) endorsed the facial recognition best practices on June 22, 2016. IBIA is “the leading international trade group representing the identification technology industry.”  In its statement endorsing the guidelines, IBIA indicated that it was “proud to be part of this collaborative process.…These privacy best practices will help to assure the public that facial recognition is being used responsibly and accountably. They also demonstrate the strong commitment of the industry to protecting the public’s privacy, even as new technologies and applications emerge.”