Is it possible to escape from face detection while shopping in Australia?

Digital billboards in shopping areas in Australia record customers’ reactions to advertisements tailored to them, but not in accordance with the GDPR. Who is safeguarding the Australians’ privacy? Face detection makes it possible to distuingish f.e. age, gender and mood. The French manufacturer emphasizes that all data collected remains anonymous and that they are using facial detection, not facial recognition technology. They’re not identifying who the person is, they’re just identifying the characteristics of that person.

The global FRT market is worth approximately US$3bn (A$4.1bn) and is expected to grow to US$6bn by 2021. But there are major concerns about how to protect the privacy of those whose data is collected. In January a coalition of 85 civil rights groups wrote to Microsoft, Amazon and Google demanding the companies commit not to sell face surveillance technology to governments. According to Microsoft three main problems governments needed to address, namely the risk of bias and discrimination, new intrusions into privacy, and the potential for mass surveillance to “encroach on democratic freedoms”.

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