The International Business Times spoke with ACLU of Illinois' Legislative Director Mary Dixon about privacy concerns over biometrics – facial recognition technology used by applications including Facebook. Biometrics track unique human characteristics as a way to identify a specific individual. Facebook uses biometrics to automatically suggest specific people to tag in photos uploaded by its users. In 2008, the ACLU of Illinois lobbied to pass the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) which created important regulations on the use of biometric information including guidelines for required consent and prohibiting the sale of biometric data for profit. Because the technological landscape has shifted since 2008, privacy advocates are concerned that BIPA does not have the legal legs necessary to win against Facebook in court. Dixon says:

“I think we were ahead of the curve,” said Mary Dixon, legislative director for the ACLU of Illinois, which advanced the initiative. “I think it’d be hard to pass similar initiatives now given the intense lobby against some of the protections we were able to advance.”

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