Now Reading
Australian Retailer Pauses Use Of Facial Recognition Tech

Australian Retailer Pauses Use Of Facial Recognition Tech

Australian Retailer Pauses Use Of Facial Recognition Tech

Australia’s second-biggest appliance retailer, The Good Guys, is pausing its use of facial recognition technology after the company was named in a complaint filed with the country’s privacy regulator.

In its complaint with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OIAC), consumer group CHOICE argued that the use of the technology by The Good Guys and two other retailers was unreasonably intrusive and likely a breach of privacy laws.

In response to the complaint, The Good Guys said it is pausing “the trial of the upgraded security system with the optional facial recognition technology being conducted in two of its Melbourne stores.”

The company added that while it was confident that its collection and use of biometric information was in compliance with the laws, it had decided to “pause the trial at this time pending any clarification from the OAIC regarding the use of this technology.”

“This is an important step in the right direction for The Good Guys, and a decision we know reflects community expectations,” CHOICE policy adviser Amy Pereira said in a statement.

The two other retailers named in the complaint include Bunnings, the country’s biggest home improvement chain, and Kmart Australia, Reuters reported. Both of these store chains are owned by Wesfarmers Ltd.

“Bunnings and Kmart are lagging behind when it comes to any kind of commitment to stop the unethical and unnecessary use of facial recognition technology in their stores,” Pereira added.

The complaint against the three retailers is not the first time OIAC is dealing with improper use of biometric data. In 2021, the regulator ordered 7-Eleven Australia to destroy faceprint data collected at 700 store locations on iPads that were set up to collect customers’ feedback.

The regulator also reportedly asked U.S. firm Clearview AI to stop building user profiles of Australian residents using data and images compiled from social media platforms.

Scroll To Top