Retailers using ‘intrusive’ facial recognition

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A consumer advocacy group says three of Australia’s biggest retailers are using “unreasonably intrusive” facial recognition technology on their shoppers.

As Reuters reported on Monday (June 27), CHOICE has filed a complaint with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), citing what it calls unwarranted use of technology in the appliance chain the good oneshardware supplier buns and the Australian arm of Kmart.

Amy Pereira, policy adviser at CHOICE, said facial recognition technology puts people at risk of “invasion of privacy, misidentification, discrimination, profiling and exclusion, as well as vulnerability to cybercrime through leaks.” data breaches and identity theft,” Reuters reported.

“CHOICE urges you, as commissioner, to investigate this matter further and consider taking enforcement action against Kmart, Bunnings and The Good Guys for failing to meet their obligations under the (Privacy) Act,” he said in a statement. the complaint.

The OAIC told Reuters it is reviewing the complaint. Simon McDowell, Bunnings’ chief operating officer, said the network only used facial recognition for security after “an increase in the number of challenging interactions our team had to handle” and that his company was “disappointed by the inaccurate characterization.” of CHOICE”.

JB Hi-Fi and Kmart were not immediately available for comment Monday morning.

See also: Oregon Senator Wyden Urges FTC to Investigate ID.me

Reuters notes that if the OAIC proceeds with an investigation, it would be Australia’s largest facial recognition investigation. Consumer groups around the world have warned that the technology could lead to invasions of privacy and possible racial profiling.

Last month, a group of Democratic senators asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate whether identity verification service provider ID.me had made “multiple misleading statements” about its use of facial recognition.

U.S. Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts and Alex Padilla of California said in the letter that the company has made numerous claims in the past year that its “one-to-one” facial recognition technology was superior to “one-to-many” facial recognition, in which a person’s photo is compared to a “digital lineup” of other people.

Wyden cited experts who say one-to-many systems are less accurate at identifying people of color. ID.me has tried to distance itself from those systems, with CEO Blake Hall saying earlier this year that the company doesn’t use many [one-to-many] facial recognition,” calling it “problematic” and “linked to surveillance apps.”

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