Magazine article HRMagazine

Facial-Recognition Technology Might Get Employers in Trouble

Magazine article HRMagazine

Facial-Recognition Technology Might Get Employers in Trouble

Article excerpt

T he first time one of employment lawyer Todd Frederikson's clients asked him about using face-recognition software to find and keep the best employees, his reply was unequivocal: Steer clear of that technology.

Facial-recognition software can match the image of a face to a correct home address, Social Security number, criminal rap sheet and social club patronage- and it can make employers privy to information that invites trouble.

Protected Classes

"Twenty years ago, when clients were starting to get resumes with pictures embedded, our advice to clients was to get rid of the pictures," said Frederikson, managing partner of Fisher & Phillips LLP in Denver. "We give the same advice today when it comes to facialrecognition software. If that [applicant or employee] is in a protected class and you're keeping images of folks in personnel files, it's just a matter of time before you'll hear 'You didn't hire me or you fired me because I'm black or Hispanic.' "

"Or Jewish or Catholic," or a member of some other group that can cry foul legitimately, added lawyer Tina Maiolo of Carr Maloney P. …

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