Discover more from Dystopian Down Under
Privacy and consent scrapped by major Australian retailers - for your safety
A privacy breach in time saves nine
In the news this week, major Australian retailers are using facial recognition data to spot crime before it happens and maintain a safe environment. To be clear, this is not a proposal, it’s already happening.
The story was broken by Choice, an Australian consumer advocacy group.
*Don’t worry guys, this one’s fact checked.
From the article:
"Major Australian retailers Kmart, Bunnings and The Good Guys are using facial recognition technology in stores, raising concerns among privacy experts.
Simon McDowell, Bunnings' chief operating officer, tells CHOICE that facial recognition is one of several measures the retailer has in place to prevent theft and anti-social behaviour.
"At selected stores our CCTV systems utilise facial recognition technology, which is used to help identify persons of interest who have previously been involved in incidents of concern in our stores," he says. This technology is an important measure that helps us to maintain a safe and secure environment for our team and customers"
(emphasis mine) SOURCE
So far there has been no disclosure of how the biometric data (known as a ‘faceprint’) collected by these retailers are stored and secured. What could possibly go wrong?
Surely any corporation recording customers and running their images through facial recognition technology will have top level data security. You know, like Microsoft.
Ooof ok. Maybe that was a one off though.
I see. Maybe private enterprises aren’t the ones to be handling our data. How about we let the government do it?
Choice consumer advocacy group highlights the “creepy” nature of what Bunnings, Kmart and The Good Guys are (already) doing to surreptitiously gather biometric data, citing concerns about mass surveillance, consent, and privacy laws. Even a cursory glance at the history of how such data is handled, both by private and government bodies, indicates that concern is indeed warranted.
The 64 biggest data breaches of all time, ranked by impact.