Facial recognition systems could result in identified shoplifters being banned from almost every store, according to a report.
CNET reported, Wednesday, that “with facial recognition, getting caught in one store could mean a digital record of your face is shared across the country.”
“Stores are already using the technology for security purposes and can share that data — meaning that if one store considers you a threat, every business in that network could come to the same conclusion. One mistake could mean never being able to shop again,” CNET explained.
One surveillance company, Kogniz, “has about 30 retail and commercial customers, with thousands of security cameras using its facial recognition technology,” according to CNET, and shops “use Kogniz’s facial recognition to identify known shoplifters.”
“If a logged person tries entering the store, Kogniz’s facial recognition will be able to detect that and flag security,” they continued. “If someone is barred from one store because of facial recognition, that person could potentially be prevented from visiting another branch of that same store ever again.”
The technology has faced criticism from civil rights activists, including ACLU senior legislative counsel Singh Guliani, who declared, “Unless we really rein in this technology, there’s a risk that what we enjoy every day — the ability to walk around anonymous, without fearing that you’re being tracked and identified — could be a thing of the past.”
Facial recognition technology is currently being developed and utilized by Big Tech companies, such as Google and Amazon, and the technology has been rolled out at locations around the world, including New York, the United Kingdom, and even at pop star Taylor Swift’s concerts— where it is used to identify known stalkers.
Amazon’s facial recognition technology, called Rekognition, previously identified 28 members of Congress as police suspects, and has mistakenly identified criminals on the FBI’s Most Wanted List as famous celebrities.
Facial recognition technology has also been criticized for struggling to identify “nonbinary” and transgender people.