Woolworths leak says it uses artificial intelligence and facial recognition
The company says the leaked internal training module detailing how it uses the controversial technologies to stop theft was a mistake.
A leaked Woolworths employee training module slide claims it uses ‘artificial intelligence and facial mapping’ in its stores – but the company denies it uses the technology.
A graphic featuring a “Woolworths 2020” copyright disclaimer showcasing the various methods the company uses to combat theft was posted on Reddit by an anonymous user with the title “It’s not only Bunnings that uses facial recognition. This is from a Woolies training module from 2020.”
At the bottom of the slide, a box titled “Did you know? boasts of the company’s use of technology to catch offenders: “Our high-level CCTV system is already resulting in the arrest of offenders by the police.” We use technologies such as artificial intelligence and facial mapping to identify offenders! »
Invest in journalism that makes a difference.
EOFY sale. One year for just $99.
Woolworths confirmed the slide was real, but denied that it uses artificial intelligence or facial recognition to prevent theft.
“We do not use any form of in-store facial recognition technology and will update the module wording to make it clearer,” he said in response to Crikey questions. “The point in the module is a reference to us providing CCTV on request to the police to assist in any investigation.”
While Woolworths may not use these technologies, the company does work with police, including providing CCTV footage, which may use tools such as facial recognition.
Earlier this month, consumer group CHOICE released a report finding that three of Australia’s top 25 retailers are using facial recognition technology, prompting calls for the technology to be banned until the Australia is putting in place a regulatory framework around its use.
CHOICE has filed a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office accusing the three companies – the Good Guys, Kmart and Bunnings – of using facial recognition in an “unreasonably intrusive” manner. ITNews reported.