Crown Casino Melbourne was confirmed to have used facial recognition technology in case individuals broke self-exclusion.Photo: AACASINO/Facebook

Tyria Dobson

It has emerged that certain bars, pubs and casinos are using facial recognition technology (FRT) to monitor customers and weed out those identified as addicts. This prompted protests from human rights experts who said the use of FRT violated privacy laws.

This has prompted two specific organizations, the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) and the Alliance for Gambling Reform (AGR), to work together to seek an immediate ban on the use of FRT at these venues, with all states and territories is calling for alcohol and gambling. body.

In the letter, they demanded an explanation for the use of FRT on site and an immediate freeze on the activity pending an investigation by the Australian Information Commissioner and Human Rights Commission, and the introduction of appropriate legislation. .

“We are very concerned that FRT is being used to exclude, isolate, stigmatize and punish people with addictions at the expense of other, more effective, system-wide responses.” said the letter.

“We are also concerned about the potential use of FRT data for targeted advertising of addictive products to individuals who are particularly vulnerable to the harm these products may cause. increase.”

Concerns have been raised about FRT’s error rate, particularly its misidentification of people of color, women, and disabilities, leading to its ban from these venues, but the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) The error rate of the FRT algorithm is 0.8%. However, this result is a best-case result, and the median error rate can be as high as 9.3%.

According to media reports, there are currently 15 venues using FRT in South Australia and two in the Australian Capital Territory. Crown Casino Melbourne utilizes FRT to detect possible violations of self-excluded individuals.

Carol Bennett, CEO of the Alliance for Gambling Reform and Caterina Giorgi, CEO of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, have voiced their opposition to the use of FRT and believe an impartial institution should oversee its use. .

“The gambling industry has a business model based on exploiting vulnerable people. There is no chance they can be trusted to self-regulate this technology, and unless it is independently regulated, it will further increase the harm of gambling.” “I think so,” said Mr. Bennett.

“The use of this invasive technology must be thoroughly scrutinized to ensure that appropriate checks and balances are put in place to ensure that the community is not exploited and that the health and safety of the community is prioritized.” says Giorgi.

Both organizations are dedicated to minimizing the harm of gambling and alcohol, helping struggling addicts, and raising awareness about the damage excessive indulgence in these vices can cause to family, friends and communities. We are committed to promoting education.

city ​​hub We reached out to Liquor and Gambling NSW to ‘work with industry stakeholders to consider how new technologies can benefit businesses and customers and help reduce harm such as gambling problems’. there is,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Liquor and Gamble New South Wales said: ‘Facial recognition technology could help prevent people who have self-excluded themselves from playing gaming consoles from entering venues.

“Proposals to use facial recognition technology to support exclusion from sanctioned venues must comply with privacy laws.”

Caught a retailer using facial recognition technology

In June of this year, consumer group CHOICE revealed that Kmart, The Good Guys and Bunnings used FRT to make referrals to the Australian Information Commissioner’s office. Bunnings has confirmed that it is being used for theft and anti-social purposes.

As part of its research, CHOICE surveyed over 1,000 customers between March and April. Using her FRT without the knowledge of Australian citizens was deemed “totally inappropriate and unnecessary” by CHOICE consumer data advocate Kate Bower.

“Worse, we found that 76% of Australians were unaware that retailers were capturing unique facial features in this way,” she said. ABC.

“Using facial recognition technology in this way is like Kmart, Bunnings, or The Good Guys collecting fingerprints or DNA every time you shop. biometrics is unethical and a surefire way to undermine consumer trust.”


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