Pubs, clubs and other gambling establishments across Australia are already using facial recognition technology to monitor their customers, with some companies trying to capture data on people’s emotions or to offer personalized advertising to customers. This technology is advertised as a way to display
This week’s Australasian Gaming Expo in Sydney featured several companies selling facial recognition technology, from small security firms to giants manufacturing gambling machines. These range from complete hardware setups with specialized cameras to systems that can be installed on his existing CCTV.
Ainsworth Game Technology was on display next to a large, bright showcase of new poker machines. Guardian, the facial recognition technology of the New Zealand company COMS. The company sells cameras that claim to be able to detect faces from 20 to 25 meters away. Its software allows for “one-to-many” recognition. This means that individual faces can be checked against the entire database of potential matches. According to staff, his 15 venues in South Australia, his two venues in the Australian Capital Territory and his 170 venues in New Zealand use the technology.
Facial recognition is touted by companies as a way to promote responsible gaming by helping venues identify those who choose to self-exclude from gambling. A challenge for companies with multiple venues and staff. Companies selling facial recognition technology say they can solve this challenge.
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Corporate staff, including Ainsworth, said Crikey Such a system would allow people to take and upload pictures of individuals, accurately identify them in a crowd, and immediately alert staff that they’ve seen a match. We offer a self-exclusion onboarding portal for “easy registration for self-exclusion patrons”. But that’s not the only reason technology is driving.
Other companies say the system will automatically capture face scans of individuals who show up at the venue, creating a database of biometric data from patrons that can be searched according to vendor. One company, ICU Security Cameras, advertised a facial recognition system that uses cameras to “capture facial images” and store up to 100,000 faces for users to search for. According to Vix Vizion staff, users will be able to upload a photo and instantly see if that person was in the video (for example, if they committed a violent act).
Wearing a mask may not prevent these systems. The company boasts that it can accurately recognize people even when they are wearing masks. An ICU security camera operator said, “Face recognition while wearing a mask is a fairly basic task.”
While focusing on self-exclusion and security, companies are keen to promote the use of facial recognition for various other uses. AusComply recommends it instead of ID scanning as a way to “eliminate long lines”. German company Cognitec proposes using facial recognition to identify VIPs and offer them special treatment. It also says that the technology can be used to personalize digital signage and “tailor ads” according to the identity, age and gender of the person viewing it.
Companies are also pushing facial recognition as a way to collect other types of data about people. Vix Vizion claims its facial recognition system “collects and manages valuable business data.” This includes information about the number of people in the monitored space, their age, gender and even their emotions. Cognitec says its system can count the number of visitors to a location, detect repeat visitors, calculate age, gender and ethnicity of visitor distributions, and calculate wait times.
when asked by Crikeystaffers at multiple companies said the venues didn’t need to advertise that they were using facial recognition technology.
Australian Personal Information Protection Law 1988 Allows the collection of biometric data (such as facial scans) if the user has consented and as required for the entity’s function or activity. Last month, Bunnings and his Kmart said they would stop using facial recognition after the incident. The Australian Information Commissioner’s office has revealed it is investigating the company.
Last year, the Australian Human Rights Commission called for a moratorium on the use of facial recognition technology in “high-risk” decision-making pending further regulation. Former Commissioner and now UTS Professor, Edward Santow, is part of a group-drafted model regulation to be released later this year.
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Is your local pub watching you?
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