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B.C. Privacy Commissioner essentially shuts down retail use of biometrics to identify “persons of interest”

20 Jun 2023 5:29 PM | CAN-TECH Law (Administrator)

Facial recognition technology is not “appropriate” in the retail context

The Information and Privacy Commissioner has issued an investigation report under the Personal Information Protection Act of B.C. that essentially shuts down the widespread use of biometric facial recognition in the retail context, at least for identifying “persons of interest.” 

The Commissioner undertook this investigation on his own accord after seeking information on how prevalent the use of biometrics is in the retail sector. The OIPC surveyed 13 of the province’s largest retailers on their use of facial recognition technology, or “FRT”; 12 responded that they did not use FRT. The remaining retailer, Canadian Tire Corporation, requested that the OIPC contact their 55 independently owned Associate Dealer stores in the province. Twelve of the independent dealers reported using FRT. The Commissioner then commenced an investigation under s. 36(1)(a) of the Personal Information Protection Act of four of the locations, scattered across the province. 

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