Fri, 07/31/2020 – 19:30
Over the past 8 years, Rite Aid incorporated facial recognition systems at 200 of its stores nationwide in cities including New York and Los Angeles, primarily in lower-income, non-white communities, according to a Reuters investigation. For more than a year, Rite Aid used facial recognition technology from a company with links to the Chinese government, but there is no evidence that Rite Aid’s data was sent to China. Rite Aid says it no longer uses its facial recognition software and that all the cameras have been switched off. The company says, “This decision was in part based on a larger industry conversation,” adding that “other large technology companies seem to be scaling back or rethinking their efforts around facial recognition given increasing uncertainty around the technology’s utility.” According to the company, the technology was intended to deter theft and safeguard staff and customers from violence. Walmart has also experimented with facial recognition in a few of stores, according to people with knowledge of the test.