Mercadona suffers a severe setback by preventing justice from using facial recognition technology to detect two convicted thieves.
The controversial facial recognition system that Mercadona has been using in a pilot test for a few months in different establishments will not continue. And it is that justice has rejected this facial recognition system that the chain of stores intended to use to detect if some people with a restraining order in force entered any of its establishments.
Own Provincial Court of Barcelona is the one that has ruled on a particular case denying the company authorization to use this facial recognition system in order to find out if two people convicted of theft, who had a restraining order on a specific center, agreed to any chain store establishment.
The order, to which eldiario.es has accessed, it can be read that the Provincial Court of Barcelona has determined that these measures are not “protecting the public interest“, “but rather, the private or particular interests of the company in question“.
They also comment that the system proposed by Mercadona “It violates the adequate guarantees in order to protect the rights and freedoms of the interested parties, not only of those who have been punished and whose access prohibition is incumbent upon them, but also of the rest of the people who access the said supermarket“For the court, there is a privacy violation with this technology.
Image just taken from the information poster on the facial recognition system at the Mercadona del Coll d’en Rabassa (Palma) – Balearic Islands. 👀#Data Protection#Recognition#RGPD@jgarciaherrero @apachecoabogado@Jorge_Morell@FelipeA_Herrera pic.twitter.com/VQ7nsRIFDp
– Jose Manuel Cañedo (@josecanedo_) July 2, 2020
This is a serious setback for Mercadona, that it will not be able to implement this novel facial recognition system and that it has already caused controversy since its announcement a few years ago. However, from Mercadona they slip that the project began in tests and that is not currently working in any of the supermarkets because the test has been ending store by store.
In fact, Mercadona wants to make it clear that they detach this court ruling from the fact that they are no longer using this technology, adding that “More than 40 courts have given authorization to install the system in the stores where the tests were carried out”.
The Spanish Agency for Data Protection It already has this Mercadona technology in its sights, and yet they opened an ex officio investigation that is currently ongoing without a resolution.
Specifically, Mercadona wanted to use this facial recognition system due to a problem that occurred in January 2018 where two people were convicted of robbery with violence, and among their penalties they were banned from accessing a specific Mercadona store, together to a year in prison.
Apparently, the chain of stores, a year later, urged to be allowed “the use of electronic means, consisting of entrance detection [de los dos condenados] to establishments“, through an automatic system that would detect the arrival of the convicts with a”closed circuit video recording“.