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Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee covers technology policy, including copyright and patent law, telecom regulation, privacy, and free speech. He also writes about the economics of technology. He has previously written for Ars Technica and Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter or send him email.

Brian Fung

Brian Fung

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on electronic privacy, national security, digital politics and the Internet that binds it all together. He was previously the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic. His writing has also appeared in Foreign Policy, Talking Points Memo, the American Prospect and Nonprofit Quarterly. Follow Brian on Google+ .

Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government. She also delves into the societal impacts of technology access and how innovation is intertwined with cultural development.

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Posted at 01:05 PM ET, 10/22/2012

FTC releases best practices on facial recognition technology #thecircuit

FTC releases best practices on facial recognition: The Federal Trade Commission Monday released a recommendation of best practices for companies using facial recognition technology.

The agency recommended that companies adopt a privacy-first approach to building their services, and develop security protections for the data. Companies, the FTC said, should also have clear data retention policies and consider their audiences before adding facial recognition features.

In a dissenting opinion, commissioner Thomas J. Rosch said that he believes the report goes “too far, too soon.” The technology, he said, is changing so rapidly and is so early in its development that he cannot justify the FTC’s recommendations.

Google, FTC: Google is reportedly considering settling with the Federal Trade Commission over accusations that the company’s actions on mobile-device patents violated antitrust law. As The Wall Street Journal reported, the company may be under scrutiny for refusing to license essential patents it acquired along with Motorola Mobility in May.

Microsoft changes privacy policy: Microsoft has made shifts to its privacy policy that allows the company to pull data from across different free services, The New York Times reported — a policy many are comparing to Google’s latest privacy policy. Microsoft has promised that it will not use the data to sell targeted advertising through practices such as scanning e-mails for clues to effective advertising.

In a statement to the Times, Microsoft spokesman Jack Evans said that the data-sharing could help with features such as data categorization but would not be used in advertising.

Austrian law student takes on Facebook: Austrian law student Max Schrems is trying t o gather the funds to take his battle with Facebook to the next level — into court. As The Washington Post reported, Schrems believes that Facebook is running afoul of European privacy law and would like to take his grievances to court.

Richard Allan, Facebook’s top policy executive in Europe, said the reaction provoked by Schrems shows the responsiveness of the regulatory system.

Internet anti-censorship tools: U.S.-funded programs to beat back online censorship are growing in popularity, The Washington Post reported, with 1 million people a day using online tools to get past extensive blocking programs and government surveillance.

But the tools, activists and nonprofit groups say, are being swamped — causing bottlenecks that have limited access to users in countries such as China and Iran, the report said.

Internet freedom activists say part of the challenge in developing online circumvention tools is balancing how much to spend on tools now and how much to spend developing tools to keep pace with censorship technology.

By  |  01:05 PM ET, 10/22/2012

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