Statement on Facial Recognition technology in relation to Personal Identifiable Information
FotoWare will not use, support, or develop Facial Recognition technology in any of its products, solutions, or services at this time.
FotoWare has made the decision to not use or develop Facial Recognition (FR) technology in any FotoWare solutions, products, or services. We have taken this decision due to increasing legal and ethical concerns surrounding the use of Facial Recognition technology, and with the best interests of our customers and users in mind. This will not apply to the use of Facial Recognition technology in connection with public individuals such as celebrities.
While our stance on Facial Recognition is clear, FotoWare's open API means it will still be possible for customers to connect their system to third-party FR tools. Should a customer choose to integrate technology with FR functionality through our open API, it is done entirely at their own discretion. FotoWare will not offer advisory, services, or support to enable the use of FR technology that compromises any legal regulations relating to Personal Identifiable Information.
In addition, FotoWare will continue to develop other AI features such as automatic metadata tagging, speech to text conversion, image recognition, and more.
The rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies in recent years has seen great progress made toward increasing efficiency, reliability, and innovation across a wide range of areas. The Digital Asset Management industry has been no exception, with technology enabling improvements such as automatic metadata tagging, speech-to-text conversion, image recognition, and more.
There are many instances in which the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning technology demonstrates significant benefits and utility, while at the same time adhering to accepted standards, ethics, and regulations.
However, the same cannot be said for certain applications that require the use of Personal Identifiable Information (PII), such as Facial Recognition technology. Many data processing regulations worldwide, including the GDPR (EU and UK), consider biometric data as ‘Special Category Data’ and ‘Sensitive Personal Data’, which means the processing of such data requires a greater level of care than ordinarily.
Personal Identifiable Information (PII) is defined as:
Any representation of information that permits the identity of an individual to whom the information applies to be inferred by either direct or indirect means. This includes biometric data, such as photos and videos of a person’s face, among other physical, physiological, or behavioral characteristics.
Why we have made this decision
There are five main concerns associated with facial recognition technology currently, which involve bias and discrimination, privacy, security, lack of training data, and risk of errors. The combination of these factors has led to several major players withdrawing from the facial recognition technology market, including Microsoft, Axon, Amazon, and IBM. Furthermore, facial recognition is considered to be highly invasive of privacy and private life, challenging basic rights and freedoms, and conflicting with data processing regulations, including the EU’s legal framework and the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
We firmly believe that personal privacy, security, and protection against bias and discrimination are top priorities, and the legal aspect cannot be overlooked. While data processing regulations around the world are constantly evolving, the potential consequences of a breach of current legislation would be significantly damaging in a number of aspects. Given the uncertainty and unclarity of the final legislation within this area, FotoWare will until further not deliver solutions or services that include or enable the use of facial recognition technology. We have therefore taken this stance to protect ourselves and our broad range of customers and users worldwide.
We recognize that artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies do provide genuine value in a number of other areas, and we will continue to support technology that benefits FotoWare users, so long as it does not compromise the ethical and legal standards we adhere to. This currently includes services like celebrity recognition, object recognition and auto-tagging, automated video analysis, speech-to-text, and generative AI within FotoWare products.
We respect our customers’ data, and though we cannot control how it is used outside our solutions or through our open API, we choose to not provide products or services to use Facial Recognition within FotoWare at this time.
If you have any further questions about this topic and FotoWare’s stance on facial recognition technology, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org