Rite Aid banned from using AI facial recognition

FILE PHOTO: A woman shops inside a Rite Aid store underneath a DeepCam security camera in New York City, New York, U.S., November 20, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bankrupt U.S. pharmacy chain Rite Aid will be prohibited from using facial recognition technology for surveillance purposes for five years to settle U.S. Federal Trade Commission charges it harmed consumers, the FTC said on Tuesday.

Rite Aid deployed artificial intelligence-based facial recognition technology from 2012 to 2020 in order to identify shoplifters but the company falsely flagged some consumers as matching someone who had previously been identified as a shoplifter, the FTC said.

Rite Aid in a statement said the agreement with the FTC is subject to approval by the bankruptcy court overseeing its insolvency case.

"The allegations relate to a facial recognition technology pilot program the company deployed in a limited number of stores," the company said. "Rite Aid stopped using the technology in this small group of stores more than three years ago, before the FTC’s investigation regarding the Company’s use of the technology began."

The FTC’s complaint and ban followed a Reuters investigation from 2020 into Rite Aid’s facial recognition program.

That investigation found Rite Aid quietly added facial recognition systems to hundreds of stores in the United States, and that in New York and Los Angeles, Rite Aid deployed the technology in largely lower-income, non-white neighborhoods.

After Reuters sent its findings to Rite Aid in July 2020, Rite Aid said it quit using its facial recognition software.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; editing by Rami Ayyub and Stephen Coates)

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!


Next In Tech News

Meta announces new nudity filter in effort to tackle sextortion
Music subscriptions in Europe can now be purchased outside App Store
Miniature sensor to monitor your health while driving
Apple says it will allow old iPhone parts to be used in repairs
How the push to make ‘Grounded’ a multiplatform game made it better
Bitcoin down by 7.1% to $62,346
Apple denies violating US court order in Epic Games lawsuit
Google Photos is making its smart editing tools available to everyone
Palmsy is your one-person social media with pretend likes
AI is being used to help you eat those leftovers in your fridge

Others Also Read