Franken Asks App Developer To Delay NameTag ReleaseSen. Expresses Concerns about Potential Uses/Abuses of Facial Recognition Technology 2/05/2014 5:50 PM Eastern
“There has been a great deal of misinformation regarding what the NameTag app will and will not do. We do not collect information from private online dating profiles or any information that has not already been made public by millions of users on social media or search engines,"said NameTag exec Kevin Allan Tussy, to whom Franken's letter was addressed. “No home addresses or personal phone numbers will be displayed on NameTag. No one under 18 years of age will knowingly be included. Most importantly, anyone that wishes to opt-out will be able to do so by visiting the NameTag site and filling out a brief form that will remain completely confidential.
Tussy continued: "Facial recognition technology is a reality. We understand that it carries the potential for the invasion of the privacy that Americans hold so dear. We are developing NameTag in a way that ensures the protection of those rights.
“It’s important to remember why the NameTag app was developed; not just to connect people, but also to protect them. Women are potentially vulnerable when they participate in online dating. With NameTag, they have the ability to scan someone against a database of more than 450,000 Registered Sex Offenders and become better informed. When parents hire a babysitter, they don’t always know with whom they are entrusting their children. With NameTag they will be able to keep their family safer. Consider the service providers we often let into our homes without a second thought or the new bookkeeper we are interviewing to handle our finances. These are situations where NameTag will be a tremendous service.
“As Senator Al Franken has stated ‘facial recognition technology could become a powerful and positive tool for public safety and private sector innovation. The key is to ensure that strong safeguards exist for privacy and civil liberties so that the benefits of these biometric technologies aren't outweighed by negative effects on privacy.’ We are committed to seeing NameTag live up to its potential while working diligently to protect the privacy rights of Americans.”