Several Canadian Tire stores that utilized facial recognition technology have been found to have violated privacy laws.
As reported by The Globe and Mail, British Columbia’s Privacy Commissioner, Michael McEvoy, published a report revealing that the stores that used facial recognition technology did not adequately notify their customers or obtain consent to collect their personal information.
Further, according to the report, even if the stores using facial recognition technology obtained customer consent, they would still need to provide a valid reason for collecting the information. The report found no reasonable indication.
A total of 12 Canadian Tire stores across B.C. used the technology for about three years, quoting precautionary measures against theft and safety. The systems were subsequently removed when Canadian Tire learned that the privacy commissioner was investigating four of its stores using the technology.
The report also revealed that the systems collected sensitive biometric information between 2018 and 2021, and that the stores would have needed to make a compelling case to justify the collection of such information. Further, the commissioner recommended that the stores develop and maintain a robust privacy management plan, while the British Columbia government should change the laws that regulate the sale of biometric technology and create additional obligations for organizations that use it.
He emphasized that retailers must carefully consider the privacy rights of their customers before implementing new technologies that gather sensitive personal information.
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Source: The Globe and Mail