It’s not only tech firms that are lobbying on the issue of face recognition technology. Retailers, chip makers, cruise ships, wireless providers, and airlines have all sought lawmakers’ ears regarding face algorithms. Furthermore, the Covid-19 pandemic has been a factor in moving this topic forward. As one U.S. airlines group commented, “Affording passengers the ability to experience a touchless process throughout their air travel journey will help to build confidence during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.” Despite the sharp divisions in Congress during the past four years, there seems to be bipartisan interest in restricting the technology in some way; however, in the absence of federal regulation, face recognition has become easier to access and more widely used. That, and the range of industries lobbying in D.C., suggests that we should be looking for upcoming regulations on our new government’s 2021 agenda.

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