FILE PHOTO: Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) speaks to reporters following leaving the Senate floor after delivering a 15 hour speech against Judge Neil Gorsuch on Capitol Hill Washington, D.C., U.S., April 5, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
(Reuters) – Two U.S. senators are proposing legislation to prohibit private companies from collecting biometric data without consumers and employees’ consent.
Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon said this week he is introducing the reform measure along with independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. The effort comes after growing concerns about biometric data collection among private companies, including the use of facial-recognition technology.
The senators cited a recent Reuters investigation into Rite Aid’s facial-recognition program among other reports causing alarm about the technology’s use.
“We have to fight against a ‘big brother’ surveillance state that eradicates our privacy and our control of our own information, be it a threat from the government or from