Your face, your voice, your fingerprints. These are unique biological features that belong to you. But Big Tech companies like Amazon, Meta (formerly Facebook) and Google collect, analyze and profit from selling your precious biological data, known as biometrics, without your consent.
We have a chance to change that in Maine.
LD 1945, An Act to Regulate the Use of Biometric Identifiers, would require companies to receive our consent before collecting our biometric identifiers, and it prohibits the sale of our biometric information.
When a biometric identifier like your face is collected into databases and sold between companies, it has terrifying real-world consequences. These are some examples:
- RiteAid had quietly deployed face recognition cameras in hundreds of its stores “in largely lower-income, non-white neighborhoods.” Misidentifications resulted in people being incorrectly flagged as matches with photos of past shoplifting suspects and being told to leave stores before completing their purchases.
- Recently, a 14-year-old Black girl in Michigan was ejected from a skating rink and left on the curb without her parents because the rink’s facial recognition system falsely matched her with a different person suspected of disrupting the rink’s business.
- Face and voice recognition technology is being used to collect and analyze biometric data during employment interviews. Vendors of predictive interview hiring tools dubiously claim to measure an applicant’s skills and personality traits through automated analysis of verbal tone, word choice, and facial expressions. This technology raises an enormous risk of amplifying employment discrimination against people due to accents, disabilities, skin color, or because they are transgender, nonbinary, or gender nonconforming.
LD 1945 would give control back to the people.