Sahar Mourad

Money & Banking

Shops that don’t use facial recognition

Shops that don’t use facial recognition

Some of Australia’s biggest retailers have landed themselves in hot water after it was revealed that they are potentially invading customer privacy with facial recognition technology. 

Shoppers now can breathe a sigh of relief with 17 popular retailers confirming to consumer group CHOICE that they are not using the technology and don’t have plans to introduce it. 

“CHOICE is really pleased to confirm that a number of big Australian retailers aren’t using facial recognition on their customers, and have no plans to introduce it,” CHOICE consumer data advocate, Kate Bower said. 

“Woolworths, Coles, Aldi, Target and Big W, among others, have all told us that they aren’t using this highly controversial technology in their stores, and don’t plan to.”  

“This commitment from the 17 retailers to avoid the use of facial recognition technology will be strongly welcomed by their customers. 

“We know the community are really worried about the use of facial recognition, with some describing it as ‘creepy and invasive’. 

“Consumers will be pleased to know they can go into a store like Woolworths or Myer without having their sensitive personal information captured by facial recognition technology.” 

The good news comes as Kmart and Bunnings, who were previously called out for using the facial recognition technology, have confirmed they will temporarily pause the use of it. 

 The two retailers will pause using the controversial technology while the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) considers a complaint made by CHOICE against Kmart, Bunnings and The Good Guys for their use of facial recognition technology in store.  

“Customers will welcome the decision from Bunnings and Kmart to pause the use of facial recognition technology, but we know what the community really wants is for these retailers to dump the technology for good,” Ms Bower continued. 

“CHOICE eagerly awaits the Information Commissioner’s decision on whether Kmart and Bunnings have breached the Privacy Act in their use of facial recognition technology. 

“This will be a landmark decision that will guide the use of controversial facial recognition technology in Australia.” 

A full list of all shops not using the technology identified by CHOICE include: Woolworths, Coles, Aldi, Target, Big W, Myer, David Jones, Officeworks, Dan Murphys, BWS, First Choice Liquor, Liquor Land, Vintage Cellars, Rebel, BCF, Supercheap Auto and Macpac. 

Images: Twitter

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