CDD Asks FTC to Protect Children and Teens from Facial Recognition Technologies, inc. marketing tactics used to identify race/ethnicity

Facial recognition technologies are now a part of the commercial digital marketing “complex,” providing additional data and “activation” techniques designed to trigger engagement and commercial behavior. The Federal Trade Commission requested comments on the issue. Although CDD is concerned about the use of Facial Recognition on all consumers/citizens, inc. adults, we focused on the need for child and adolescent safeguards. Facial Recognition tactics have already become a part of youth marketing, inc, for food (link is external)and beverage (link is external) products. Here’s an excerpt with filing attached: The growth of real-time targeting, with the routine merging of offline and online data for profiling-based user ad sales, is the context for the FTC to develop safeguards related to FR. Physical data will be added to the plethora of information layered to target users (which now also includes increasingly neuromarketing-derived data. The commission must also address how FR is designed to identify and target multicultural youth. Today, digital marketers engage in a range of ethnic and racial targeting, including children of color. African-American, Hispanic/Latino and Asian-American children and adolescents are the focus of wide-ranging data collection, profiling, and targeting applications. The use of FR to identify race/ethnicity without COPPA or new adolescent digital marketing rules requires proactive policy action by the commission…

The commission must take into consideration, in its work to address FR, the current state of behavioral advertising and related digital direct marketing applications—including cross-platform. FR cannot be viewed in isolation, and an effective and comprehensive set of safeguards are required in the youth digital marketplace…

CDD urges the FTC to issue appropriate rules, under its current COPPA proceeding, that place decisions about the use of FR under the control of a parent or appropriate adult guardian. It also must recommend new safeguards for adolescents, giving them greater information and control over how interactive marketing applications and data collection, including FR, are used in targeting. Specifically, we ask that:

1. The commission issue a regulation, under the COPPA rule, stipulating that the results of facial recognition applications are inherently personally identifiable information, and thus cannot be collected or used without parental consent.

2. For teens, companies must have a clear opt-in structure in order to undertake FR.

3. The commission oversee the development of a set of Fair Marketing Practices for all digital marketing targeting both children and teens, which should address how the overall use of facial recognition will be governed.