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Supermarkets forced to stop facial recognition programs

Supermarkets forced to stop facial recognition programs

Supermarket chains Kmart and Bunnings are the subject of an investigation by Australia’s CNIL into the scheme’s impact on customer privacy.

Smile, you’re being filmed… and analyzed! In Australia, consumer association Choice learned that supermarkets Kmart and Bunnings had tested facial recognition and shared the information with the media, prompting an investigation by the OPCW, the CNIL’s Australian equivalent. Objective: To understand the true intentions of these brands and the data collected on customers through this technology.

Prevent fraud and theft

Both companies explained that they want to use facial recognition to detect customers who have been banned from their stores, for example for fraud or theft, so it cannot be repeated. “When customers insult our staff, pull out weapons, spit or hit us, we ban them from our stores. But this ban is ineffective if it is difficult to enforce.Bunnings manager Mike Schneider explained Guardian. Facial recognition provides an opportunity to detect a prohibited person entering a store and helps our team deal with the situation before it escalates. ยป

So supermarkets do not keep data and images of other customers for marketing purposes. Despite these explanations, this facial recognition program is worrying because customers are not aware of it and can be analyzed without their consent.

Facial recognition, a controversial technology

The suspension of this project is another example of the tensions and ethical issues surrounding facial recognition. Special Institution Clearview AI Several countries have been fined millions of euros for collecting billions of photos on social networks without asking users’ consent.

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Big companies like Microsoft and Meta have also restricted the use of this technology: Microsoft This initiative was taken for ethical reasons Texas sued Meta For the same reasons as Clearview AI.