A new movement is gaining traction in the United States, as more retailers and entertainment venues begin using facial recognition technology.
The move is raising privacy concerns among consumers, as the technology collects biometric data from customers.
A sign posted outside a Fairway store in New York City warns customers that their biometric data may be collected, either through a scan of their eye or facial recognition.
Fairway says the technology is helping to reduce retail crime, as shoplifting has surged across the country.
In New York City alone, the number of shoplifting complaints surged to over 63,000 last year, an increase of 45% from the previous year.
Other large retailers are also reportedly using facial recognition to catch repeat offenders, while entertainment venues such as First Energy Stadium in Cleveland, City Field in New York, and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena are using the tool at ticket gates.
Despite the benefits, privacy concerns are mounting.
The owner of Madison Square Garden has faced criticism for using facial recognition to identify and remove people, including lawyers involved in litigation against the venue.
While the technology has its positives, there are also concerns about how the data is utilized, particularly if it falls into the wrong hands.
Businesses in New York City are required to post signs notifying customers of any biometric surveillance, but Amazon is being sued for not following this requirement.
As the use of facial recognition technology continues to spread, it’s clear that it will remain a hotly debated topic in the years to come.