Subscribe for premier reporting on free speech, privacy, Big Tech, media gatekeepers, and individual liberty online.

Facial Recognition Technology To Hit New Zealand Grocery Stores

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, subscribe to Reclaim The Net.

Headlines across New Zealand are ablaze with news of facial recognition technology’s swift deployment in the country’s grocery sector. This controversial use of advanced tech in commercial spaces has stimulated impassioned debate and stoked concerns about personal privacy and systemic bias.

Tania Kura, the Deputy Police Commissioner, sparked an appeal for open dialogue this week about the advancements’ implications for privacy and potential bias. Speaking to contemporary societal challenges, she indicated a need for broader, public discourse.

She was quoted as saying:

“I can see the benefits and the efficiency that can come and the reassurance it can provide some parts but how do we balance that with individual rights and freedoms…It’s an interesting dilemma for us and I think New Zealand probably needs to have that open discussion as well because not everybody sees it the same.”

Her call for debate followed an announcement last week by New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner, Michael Webster. He revealed his role in supervising a novel facial recognition trial, piloted by the grocery cooperative Foodstuffs North Island. Under the guise of reducing crime, the firm aims to incorporate facial recognition technology in 25 branches of New World and Pak’nSave over the next six months.

Casual shoppers will find themselves under surveillance. This was driven home when the popular chain, Woolworths, included obscure clauses in its policy for its newly introduced loyalty card, Everyday Rewards.

The clauses permit the supermarket giant to procure video and audio material to identify customers, in addition to license plate capture. Woolworths has justified these measures as necessary for the purposes of security.

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, subscribe to Reclaim The Net.

Read more

Join the pushback against online censorship, cancel culture, and surveillance.

Already a member? Login.