February 09, 2024
High mistake rate expected in shoplifter face check
A Māori technology ethicist is warning the roll out of facial recognition technology in supermarkets could have unintended consequences.
Foodstuffs is putting the system in up to 25 North Island New World and Pak’nSave supermarkets.
It says it needs to do somethng about brazen theft and and verbal and physical abuse of staff – and regular shoppers have nothing to fear.
Dr Karaitiana Taiuru says overseas the technology has performed poorly when it comes to people of colour, Asians and other minorities.
“The Privacy Commissioner has come out in the media stating he’s keeping a very close eye on this trial. And academics such as myself, we need to keep on sharing the research from overseas, that does say minorities will be discriminated against,” he says.
Dr Taiuru says he’s concerned Maori will be subject to mistaken identity, and facial moko could also create challenges for the software.