FTC Issues Warning on Use of Biometric Information

On May 18, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a Policy Statement on Biometric Information and Section 5 of the FTC Act (Policy Statement). Section 5 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45, prohibits “unfair or deceptive practices in or affecting commerce” and empowers the FTC to bring civil actions for penalties of not more than $10,000 per violation and issue cease and desist orders.

While the Policy Statement does not confer any rights on any person and does not operate to bind the FTC or the public, companies should be mindful that the FTC is now focusing on the use of “biometric information” and the technology used in relation to such biometric information.

The FTC defines the term “biometric information” as “data that depict or describe physical, biological, or behavioral traits, characteristics, or measurements of or relating to an identified or identifiable person’s body.” “Biometric information includes, but is not limited to, depictions, images, descriptions, or recordings of an individual’s facial features,

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