Compliance lessons from Rite Aid facial recognition case

Rite Aid building

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was clear in its recent enforcement action against Rite Aid regarding its expectations for companies using facial recognition technology or any biometric security or surveillance systems.

The FTC filed a complaint against Rite Aid on Dec. 19, alleging the retail pharmacy chain used untested, inaccurate facial recognition technology to secretly surveil shoppers from 2012-20.

The misused technology resulted in thousands of people being misidentified as shoplifters, with a higher percentage of women, Blacks, Latinos, and Asians wrongly accused. Rite Aid staff sometimes harassed and publicly humiliated innocent shoppers and forced them to leave stores, including those who had wanted to fill necessary prescriptions, the FTC said.

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