Canadian Tire facial recognition
Occurred: April 2023
Canadian Tire has come under fire (pdf) from British Colombia's privacy commissioner for illegally operating facial recognition technology in four of its stores in the province.
The stores used AxxonSoft and FaceFirst systems to collect facial images and videos of people entering Canadian Tire stores, created biometric templates, and compared them to a database of previously collected photos and biometric templates representing people of interest who had allegedly been involved in incidents at Canadian Tire stores in the same region.
The commissioner singled out the retailer's failure to properly notify customers of its use of the technology or obtain consent to collect and use their personal data. It also said that even if the stores had obtained consent, they were required to demonstrate a reasonable purpose for collection and use, which Canadian Tire had also failed to do.
Canadian Tire removed the systems in British Colombia and destroyed the data when notified that it was under investigation, the regulator said. The company was ordered to create and maintain a robust data privacy management programme.
Operator: Canadian Tire
Developer: AxxonSoft; FaceFirst
Purpose: Strengthen security, safety
Technology: Facial recognition
Issue: Privacy; Accuracy/reliability
Transparency: Governance; Privacy; Marketing
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Colombia (2023). Canadian Tire Associate Dealers' use of facial recognition technology
News, commentary, analysis
Published: May 2023