Automatically recorded facial data has been collected and shared among 115 Japanese supermarkets and convenience stores without customers’ consent as part of an anti-theft measure, the South China Morning Post reports. Stores that have installed the facial recognition system capture customers’ faces and categorize those flagged as “shoplifter” or “complainer.” If a customer has been flagged, other stores are warned. Customers are provided notice that a facial recognition system is installed but are not warned that stores share the data. According to the report, sharing facial recognition data could violate Japanese law. A representative of the company that makes the software said, “We just responded to the needs of the stores … to prevent shoplifting.”
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