Canadian Tire Caught Using Facial Recognition Without Permission [VIDEO]

Summary:

  • Four Canadian Tire stores in BC violated PIPA by using facial recognition technology without authorization.
  • Stores failed to notify customers, demonstrate reasonable FRT use, and obtain consent.
  • Recommendations made for privacy management improvement and tightening biometric technology regulations.

A recent investigation has revealed that four Canadian Tire stores in British Columbia used facial recognition technology (FRT) to collect customers’ biometric information between 2018 and 2021, violating the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), according to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC on Thursday.

The Canadian Tire stores failed to properly notify customers, demonstrate a reasonable purpose for using FRT, and obtain consent. After the investigation began, all 12 stores confirmed they had removed their FRT systems and destroyed the associated personal information.

Commissioner Michael McEvoy commented, “The biometric information captured by FRT systems – the precise and unique mathematical rendering of your face – is highly sensitive. Retailers, like the ones in this case, would have to present a highly compelling case to demonstrate such collection would be reasonable.”

He added, “The stores failed to do so in this case.”

The report recommends that the stores create and maintain robust privacy management programs. It also urges the BC government to amend existing legislation to explicitly regulate the sale or installation of biometric technology and harmonize the province with other jurisdictions that have biometric legislation.

McEvoy emphasized, “Government needs to tighten regulation related to those who install technologies like FRT.” He also stated, “I recognize retailers face a challenging environment; however, they have to carefully consider the privacy rights of their customers before buying and installing new technologies that gather very sensitive personal information.”

You can check out McEvoy detailing the Canadian Tire facial recognition privacy failure below:

YouTube video