“Facebook Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other companies planning to use facial-recognition scans for security or tailored sales pitches will help write rules for how images and online profiles can be used,” Chris Strohm reports for Bloomberg. “The U.S. Department of Commerce will start meeting with industry and privacy advocates in February to draft a voluntary code of conduct for using facial recognition products, according to a public notice. The draft will ready by June.”

“Facebook, Apple and other Internet companies have been trying to restore consumer confidence that they protect privacy amid an international backlash over revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency has collected data on their users,” Strohm reports. “The American Civil Liberties Union and other privacy groups want laws, not voluntary standards, to prevent face scans from being used for spying and tracking. Trade groups like the retail federation, which represents Wal-Mart, oppose regulations or laws they say might cripple an emerging market estimated to reach $6.5 billion by 2018 by MarketsandMarkets, a Dallas research company.”

“An advertising and technology agency in Nashville, Tennessee, called Redpepper is testing an Internet application in which users agree to give access to their Facebook profiles and have their faces scanned by cameras at local businesses when they walk in or by. The application then delivers customized advertising deals to their smartphones,” Strohm reports. “Meanwhile, facial scans are becoming more common to establish identity for secure access to buildings or devices. Apple Inc. received a patent Dec. 3 for a system to use a facial scan to unlock an iPhone or computer.”

Strohm reports, “The U.S. Commerce Department, which will start the discussions in February, says the code of conduct will apply only to commercial use, not to how law enforcement or spy agencies may use it.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]