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The Evangelist Fallacy, Social Media and The New Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment swept through Europe in the eighteenth century, upending the notion of a divine right (religious and monarchic) to rule over the population. Its tenets centered upon the idea that humans buy twitter followers brazil were capable of reason and could seek governance that accorded individuals liberty and some semblance of equality. Western society still embraces principles and speaks the language of “freedom,” “democracy,” and civil rights born during The Enlightenment.There is another side of the historical record. While the public dialogue of The Enlightenment was centered on freedom, equality and human progress, institutions of the age were rapidly developing sophisticated means of control over individual movement and action; from highly structured factory work and military regimentation (the true birthplace of modern management theory), to isolating deviant segments of society (the birth of prisons, debtor’s prisons and asylums) and an emphasis on police surveillance and the “dossier” to track behavior. In fact many of the same political and social theorists of Enlightenment (Montesquieu, Bentham etc.) were the architects of detailed studies on how to subject individuals to institutional control. These tactical manuevers were often cloaked in the more lofty rhetoric of The Englightement.
Facial Recognition Technology: Social Media and Beyond, an Emerging Concern
This week, a major self-regulatory initiative intended to address privacy concerns associated with facial recognition technology hit a significant stumbling block. Nine consumer advocacy groups withdrew from the National buy twitter followers mexico Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)-initiative due to a lack of consensus on a minimum standard of consent. The NTIA initiative had been ongoing since early 2014. Consumer advocacy and civil liberties groups were participating with industry trade groups in NTIA-sponsored meetings intended to create guidelines on the fair commercial use of facial recognition technology. Advocates and industry groups were attempting to develop a voluntary, enforceable code of conduct for the use of facial recognition technology and generally define the contours of transparency and informed consent.The deadlock in discussions and withdrawal of key participants in those discussions highlights how difficult the resolution of those issues will be.Facial recognition technology is a powerful tool with many potential uses. Some are relatively well-known, particularly those which identify people in online social networks and photo storage services. For example, Facebook and others have for years employed “tag suggestion” tools that scan uploaded photos and identify network friends and suggest that the member “tag” them. How does the technology work? Facebook explains: “We currently use facial recognition software…to calculate a unique number (“template”) based on someone’s facial features, like the distance between the eyes, nose and ears. This template is based on your profile pictures and photos you’ve been tagged in on Facebook. We use these templates to help you tag photos by suggesting tags of your friends.”
Individual states have also legislated in this area
Texas and Illinois have existing biometric privacy statutes that may apply to the collection of facial templates for online photo tagging functions. Illinois’s “Biometric Information Privacy Act,” (“BIPA”) 740 ILCS 14/1, enacted in 2008, provides, among other things, that a company cannot “collect, capture, purchase, receive through trade, or buy twitter followers otherwise obtain a person’s… biometric information, unless it first: (1) informs the subject … in writing that a biometric identifier or biometric information is being collected or stored; (2) informs the subject … in writing of the specific purpose and length of term for which a biometric identifier or biometric information is being collected, stored, and used; The plaintiffs brought claims against Facebook for allegedly collecting and storing biometric data without adequate notice and consent and failing to provide a retention schedule and guidelines for permanent deletion, or otherwise comply with BIPA with respect to Illinois users. The complaint seeks an injunction and statutory damages for each violation (note: BIPA provides for $1,000 in statutory damages for each negligent violation, and $5,000 for intentional violations, plus attorney’s fees). Facebook counters that users can turn off tag suggestion, which deletes a facial recognition template.
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