The concerns around the intrusiveness of face recognition technology and its potential infringement on individuals’ privacy rights are why C2RO Perceive™ was built from the ground up to comply with GDPR. C2RO’s patented technology does not use, generate or store any biometric and unique personal information to reconnect people from camera to camera, allowing us to offer privacy-aware journey insights segmented by demographic class.
The European Commission has revealed it is considering a ban on the use of face recognition technology in public areas for up to five years amid concerns of individuals’ right to privacy and the lack of transparency from public and private actors using the technology. The ban will allow regulators to work out a methodology for assessing the impacts of this technology, as well as identify and develop necessary risk management measures. This will affect all technology solutions that capture biometric personal data to identify a person using the surveillance cameras in public spaces, such as train stations, sport stadiums and shopping malls.
The importance of being transparent in your technology and actions
The introduction of new regulations and additional safety measures reiterates the importance for solution providers to develop technologies that are compliant by design to regulations, and for companies to be more transparent in its usage of such technologies. Having these regulations in place are important as it provides all actors involved with clear guidelines on how the technology should be used without violating individuals’ privacy rights, while allowing the technology to progress and be compliant with existing and future regulations.
How this affects other sectors using video analytics
While the new proposal from the European Commission were mainly to tackle the allegations against public entities using facial recognition technology for security purposes without telling the public, its impact has resonated across all sectors. As the adoption of video analytics continues to grow in Retail and Smart City, all players will have to do their due diligence in ensuring that their business decisions and activities comply with regulations and in no way negatively impact customers’ privacy rights.
For technology providers, this means being legally responsible by having the proper certifications, and socially responsible as a technology expert to educate its customers on what its solution can and cannot do, and how it complies with regulations. For businesses choosing to adopt the technology, this signifies being transparent with the general public on what data is being processed and its purpose.
Why C2RO’s solutions are not impacted by this
Although C2RO’s video analytics solution, C2RO Perceive™, provides insights on the in-store journeys by demographic class by reconnecting visitors from one surveillance cameras to another, it was designed from the ground-up to not use any biometric information to recognize or re-identify visitors. For this reason, our system does not store, nor generate, any biometric-based personalized information, allowing us to ensure that our solution is compliant with the strictest data privacy regulations such as GDPR. This is a key differentiator from our competitors and a success factor with our existing customers in Europe, as well as what has facilitated our entry across multiple industries, such as Real-Estate and Smart City. We continue to further our commitment by having a recognized GDPR expert, Dr. Gérard Haas, as C2RO’s Data Protection Officer (DPO), to continuously ensure that all technology and operations decisions align with data privacy standards and best practices.