Biometric Privacy Legal Landscape Legislative Developments & Trends

FTC Adopts Biometric Policy Statement

Tianmei Ann Huang |

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a policy statement (“Statement”) raising significant concerns about consumer privacy, data security, and the potential for bias and discrimination associated with the increasing use of biometric information and related technologies. The Statement warns that false, misleading, or unsubstantiated statements made about the accuracy of biometric information technologies and/or practices may face enforcement action if the FTC determines such actions to be “deceptive” and “unfair” in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.

In making its determination, the FTC will consider factors such as foreseeability of harms, promptness of actions taken, and the adoption of appropriate data practices, including employee training, use of available tools, and evaluation of third-party service providers. According to the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection Director, the Statement “makes clear that companies must comply with the law regardless of the technology they are using.”

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