In a major announcement, China’s highest court has announced limitations on the use of facial recognition technology within country’s retail stores and businesses.
Now businesses in China must provide direct notice and obtain explicit consent/clearance before collecting biometric information of the consumers walking across stores.
According to Technode, the companies could be found liable if they infringe upon the personal rights of their customers by using facial recognition technology in public spaces. The rule does not apply in certain circumstances to public safety, public health emergencies and other crises.
Yang Wanming, Vice President of the Supreme People’s Court, commented in a judicial statement during a press conference that the interpretation comes in response to the growing abuse of surveillance technology by Chinese businesses.
“Some retailers use ‘touchless’ face recognition technology to collect consumers’ facial information without consent, then push them to different advertising based on their gender, age and mood,” said Yang, adding, “These acts seriously infringed users’ rights and interests.”
The decision of the court is hailed as a welcome change in China and it is anticipated now the limitations will protect customers from the abusive collection of biometric data and invasive and deceptive marketing practices.
It’s worth noting here that China is considered a frontrunner when it comes to the use of facial recognition technology in its retail stores, including the ones that cater to apparel segment.