Activist Groups Urge Retailers to Halt Facial Recognition Use


·         Fight for the Future says technology led to wrongful arrests

·         Some 35 organizations have joined campaign against screening


By Brody Ford, Bloomberg 

July 14, 2021


A new coalition of civil rights organizations is calling on retailers to stop using facial recognition tools to screen shoppers, saying the technology can lead to abuses.


More than 35 organizations, including Public Citizen and the National Lawyers Guild, have joined the campaign urging companies such as Albertsons Cos. and Macy’s Inc. not to use facial recognition screening tools on employees or customers, citing concerns over privacy and racial justice, the group said in a statement Wednesday. The coalition plans to use social media to call out retailers using the tools, it said.


“Companies say they offer facial recognition in the name of ‘convenience’ and ‘personalization,’ but their real priorities are protecting and predicting their profits, ignoring how they abuse peoples’ rights,” said Caitlin Seeley George, campaign director at Fight for the Future, one of the group’s leading the effort.


Facial recognition software has drawn increasing criticism from privacy and civil rights groups. People of color are disproportionately misidentified by facial recognition systems, which has lead to wrongful arrests. On Tuesday, both Republican and Democratic lawmakers called for regulation of the technology during a House hearing on the topic, saying use of the technology may violate constitutional rights and due process.


Shoppers Targeted ...


... Albertsons, Macy’s and Lowe’s Cos. are among the companies that do, according to Fight for the Future...


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