'Hundreds of retail stores and soon thousands are investigating using biometric facial recognition software FaceFirst to build a database of shoplifters to aid in the fight against theft, Peter Trepp CEO of FaceFirst told BuzzFeed News.
The software is called FaceFirst and is designed to scan faces as far as 50 to 100 feet away. As customers walk through a store entrance, the video camera captures repetitious images of each shopper and chooses the clearest one to store. The software then analyzes that image and compares it to a database of “bad customers” that the retailer has compiled; if there is a match, the software sends an alert to store employees that a “high risk” customer has entered the door.
Privacy advocate groups, attorneys, and even recently Microsoft, which also markets its own facial recognition system, have all raised concerns over the technology, pointing to issues of consent, racial profiling, and the potential to use images gathered through facial recognition cameras as evidence of criminal guilt by law enforcement.
“We don’t want to live in a world where government bureaucrats can enter in your name into a database and get a record of where you’ve been and what your financial, political, sexual, and medical associations and activities are,” Jay Stanley, an attorney with ACLU, told BuzzFeed News about the use of facial recognition cameras in retail stores. “And we don’t want a world in which people are being stopped and hassled by authorities because they bear resemblance to some scary character.”
The technology has a lot of problems at current; Activist Post recently reported how Amazon’s own facial “Rekognition” software erroneously and hilariously identified 28 members of Congress as people who have been arrested for crimes.'
Read more: Welcome To The Minority Report: Thousands Of Stores Plan Facial Recognition Use For Anti-Theft