Rite Aid has agreed to a five-year ban on using facial recognition technology for surveillance as part of a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The decision follows charges by the FTC that the technology was misused, harming consumers. From 2012 to 2020, Rite Aid implemented AI-driven facial recognition to detect shoplifters. However, the FTC said the system wrongly identified specific customers as previous shoplifters and “disproportionately impacted people of color.”
Rite Aid used AI-powered, face-scanning technology in hundreds of its stores to identify individuals on surveillance footage, aiming to reduce shoplifting and address other customer-related issues. The FTC said that due to the lack of proper safeguards and the technology’s history of inaccuracies and racial bias, Rite Aid staff often wrongfully accused customers of theft.
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