CT Lawmaker Co-Sponsors Bill on Facial Recognition Software - NBC Connecticut

CT Lawmaker Co-Sponsors Bill on Facial Recognition Software

(Published Thursday, May 5, 2016)

The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters brought you the story of facial recognition software possibly being used on you while you shop and a Suffield lawmaker saw our report and decided she had to act.

The growing number of stores using facial recognition software got the attention of Representative Tami Zawistowski, so much so that she co-sponsored a bill that got through Connecticut's House with bi-partisan support.

Last November, the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters told you about FaceFirst, a California company at the forefront of facial recognition software development.

It captures every curve and shadow on your face -- paired with cameras than can access that information in seconds -- to identify who you are and what you do.

FaceFirst said a growing number of retailers use it to identify shoplifters.

But FaceFirst also services stores wanting to "build a database of good customers, to recognize them when they come through the door," or to businesses that want to "get alerts when known litigious individuals enter."

That's where Representative Zawistowski drew the line and had a bill written up to force stores in Connecticut using this kind of technology to have a sign in front to notify customers.

“They can record what you're doing in a store what you're looking at what your kids are looking at or your grandkids, so it just has such an invasive quality to it. I just wanted to open this conversation," Zawistowski said.

Zawistowski said her bill died on the Senate floor, not due to a lack of support, but rather because the last-minute budget voting crowded out any other legislation from being raised. She plans to reintroduce her bill next year.

The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters have reached out to FaceFirst for comment. The company so far has not responded.

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS