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Complaint to OAIC on use of facial recognition in retail stores

June 2022

womans face recognition kmart bunnings

CHOICE has asked the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner to investigate Kmart, Bunnings and The Good Guys for potential breaches of the Privacy Act (1988). CHOICE is concerned that the retailers' practices related to their use of facial recognition technology pose significant risks to individuals. The social and economic risks include invasion of privacy, misidentification, discrimination, profiling and exclusion, as well as vulnerability to cybercrime through data breaches and identity theft.

Key issues

CHOICE has concerns with the retailers' practices for two main reasons:

  1. Lack of notice and consent in the collection of sensitive information. The retailers' use of online privacy policies and small signage in store as the key mechanisms to provide notice and obtain consent from individuals about the collection of their sensitive information is insufficient and non-compliant.
  2. The stated business purpose is disproportionate to the privacy harms posed to individuals. The retailers' large scale collection and use of their customers' sensitive information significantly invades the privacy of its customers. It is a disproportionate response to the risk of theft and anti-social behaviour in stores.

Download submission (PDF)

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