Public health and retail biometric facial recognition applications expand amid uneven trust environment

Public health and retail biometric facial recognition applications expand amid uneven trust environment

A survey by the European Union’s agency for fundamental rights (FRA) shows that only 6 percent of consumers are willing to share facial images with private companies so that they can gain access to services with facial recognition, the Times Malta writes. A third of people in Malta would do so.

The finding seems strange, given that many more Europeans than 6 percent appear to have social media accounts with photos of themselves.

For public entities, 17 percent of Europeans, half of people in Malta, and 65 percent of Cypriots said they would be willing to share a facial image.

Only 41 percent of Europeans say they are aware of privacy settings within apps, compared to 59 percent of those in Malta. Over a quarter of EU residents who say they read terms and condition do not understand them, according to the survey.

For people who are concerned about the use of facial recognition in public spaces, fashion designer Phoebe Heess has created an eye-covering visor called the Sportlens, which Dazed reports prevents facial recognition from identifying the wearer.

A representative of the company says the visor, which looks like a visor-and-sunglasses combination, has been tested with commercial facial recognition similar to that used by police, which could not match the wearer. Even if the eyes can be spotted by the system, the results will be affected by refraction from the lens.

The World Economic Forum has some suggestions for steps business can take to keep themselves on the right side of new facial recognition legislation.

Differing approaches in existing and proposed legislation to areas like non-discrimination obligations and oversight make it challenging for businesses to know how to prepare. To handle that challenge, the article authors suggest considering the relationship between controllers and processors in EU’s GDPR, think about and plan to meet the requirements most likely to be put in place based on similarities between proposals, and build up diversity within their teams.

The article also points to a recent Brookings Institute report that suggests pre-emption is one of the main barriers to establishing new regulation.

Public health applications

The reopening of Spain has people considering the possibility of attending mass events, cinemas and theaters, and even using transportation which will require control of risk factors such as how many people are in a given area, body temperature and mask usage. Thales suggests its Face Recognition Platform (FRP) as a natural way to monitor these factors in real-time in a company post. The platform can be run on a mobile device, from the cloud, or on a desktop computer, and provide alerts when enhanced risk is detected.

The system is in use at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport for boarding passengers without checking their physical documents.

Thales says the algorithm can be implemented to address a wide range of use cases, with GDPR addressed by obtaining the express authorization of all users based on the specified purpose.

Facial recognition could provide a way to combat gaming addiction in children, lawmakers in China have suggested, according to MarketScreener. The report suggests that age self-assertion is leading children to lie, and that biometrics could make the system more effective.

The proposal was tabled during the recent Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), and in addition to calling for more supervision, also suggests a video game rating system.

An app developed by Howard University College of Medicine’s 1867 Health Innovations Project and AARP Innovation Labs, meanwhile, has been launched to remind older people to take their medication by leveraging facial recognition. The system is one of two being clinically piloted to improve diabetes management and medication adherence, according to an announcement from the College. Reminders are delivered with voice technology.

Through a strategic partnership, AARP Innovation Labs will support Howard University in developing technologies and resources to improve the lives of people over 50 years of age. The technologies will include voice and face biometrics, among others.

Retail devices launched as adoption continues

As public and policy-maker attitudes towards facial recognition evolve, the technology continues to advance in the retail space.

Shuttle Computer Group has developed a programmable shelf sign that utilizes facial recognition and a speaker to interact with retail customers.

The D230 display performs age and gender recognition to select optimal multimedia content, and its server version provides ad and purchasing behavior analysis. The company says the display is simply to use, making it ideal for mom-and-pop shops, as well as large retailers.

Pax Technology Inc. has launched a line of Android-based SmartKiosks with facial recognition and a QR code reader for touchless interactions.

The new SK600 and SK800 offer order and payment integration EMV certified for contact or contactless transactions. The Android OS also enables the kiosks to be integrated with other devices such as large displays or tablets. Pax says the kiosks feature PCI 5.0 security and are resistant to shock and moisture.

7-Eleven locations in Australia are using tablets with facial recognition to perform customer feedback surveys, iTnews reports.

The company has deployed a system to all 700 locations in the country in partnership with customer experience firm Rate It. The purpose of the biometric technology is to make sure feedback is genuine, according to a company spokesperson, and the convenience store chain does not have access to customer biometric data. The company has placed signs warning of the use of the technology in its windows.

A KFC location with a fully automated front-of-house has been opened in Moscow with face biometric payments, according to NBC affiliate WFLA.

Once the food is cooked, a robot places it into a locker which the customer receives a code to open. The upgrades began before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Moscow, with a company representative telling the media outlet it is intended as a more sanitary process.

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