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Is Biometric Tech a Threat to Consumer Privacy?

Digital Signage Today

Every improvement brings its conditions. Biometric identification—which has brought significant benefits to many self-service kiosks and digital signage—isn’t risk-free. As the technology has emerged, so have consumer privacy laws, making it critical for self-service devices to comply with these requirements.

A panel during the recent Self-Service Innovation Summit made it clear that companies using biometric identification—whether it be fingerprint or facial image capture—can meet customer privacy requirements while offering the technology’s benefits.


Lawsuits have been filed against both Lowe’s and Home Depot for scanning face images of customers coming into the store using closed captioning TV systems, said panelist Jeffrey Rosenthal, a partner at the Blank Rome LLP law firm who specializes in consumer privacy law. In one case the retailer was tracking customers’ movements through the store, but were alleged to have cross checked customers’ faces with criminal records.

“There’s a question as to whether those people entering the store gave notice or gave consent that their face was scanned for this purpose,” Rosenthal said.

In August, Rosenthal said, the largest biometric settlement in history, $650 million, Patel versus Facebook, was levied against Facebook for recording photos people were uploading to the site without informing them.

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“Is Biometric Tech a Threat to Consumer Privacy?” by Elliot Maras, was published in Digital Signage Today on January 1, 2021.