Rite Aid is not allowed to use AI-powered facial recognition technology for another five years as part of The settlement you reached With the Federal Trade Commission. in Complaint filed Tuesdaythe Federal Trade Commission accuses Rite Aid of using facial surveillance systems in a “reckless” manner from 2012 to 2020.
During this period, the FTC says Rite Aid used facial recognition technology “to capture images of all consumers as they entered or moved through stores.” She then allegedly created a database of customers identified as shoplifters or exhibiting some other type of suspicious behavior. For some customers, the database may contain “parallel information,” such as names, dates of birth and activity that the store considers suspicious, according to the complaint.
Rite Aid employees allegedly followed flagged customers around stores and conducted searches
When a reported shopper enters a Rite Aid store using facial recognition technology, the FTC says employees will receive a “match alert” sent to their cell phone. As a result, Rite Aid employees allegedly followed customers into stores, conducted searches, publicly accused them of shoplifting, and even asked authorities to remove some shoppers, according to the complaint. The Federal Trade Commission says Rite Aid incorrectly identified people as shoppers previously flagged by the system, with incidents of “disproportionality” affecting people of color.
Additionally, the pharmacy chain did not inform customers that it used facial recognition technology, while employees were “instructed not to disclose” this information, the complaint states. Most of the Rite Aid stores equipped with facial recognition technology are located in New York City, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Detroit, Atlantic City and a few other cities.
“Rite Aid’s reckless use of facial surveillance systems has left its customers facing humiliation and other harm, and violations of its orders put consumers’ sensitive information at risk,” Samuel Levin, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, says in a statement. “Today’s groundbreaking order makes clear that the Commission will be vigilant in protecting the public from unfair biometric surveillance and unfair data security practices.”
In addition to a five-year ban on the use of facial recognition technology, imposed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Proposed system Requires Rite Aid to create “comprehensive safeguards” to protect customers. The company must delete “all photos and videos” of customers collected by its facial recognition system, implement a data security program, and provide written notice to customers whose biometric data will be recorded in a database in the future, among other provisions. Since Rite Aid It is currently going through bankruptcy proceedingsThe FTC says the order will go into effect once the bankruptcy court and federal district court approve the actions.
Aside from Rite Aid, several retail stores have implemented facial recognition as a way to monitor guests. In 2021, 35 organizations came together to demand that retailers like Albertsons, Macy’s, and Ace Hardware stop using technology. Some states, including Maine, have put in place laws to regulate the use of facial recognition New York City requires Venues and retailers will notify customers if biometric data collection is in use.
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