The New York Post over the weekend reported that grocers in New York City are fighting back against a proposed bill that would ban the use of facial recognition technology without customers' written consent.
The story says that the retailers have been using the tech "to battle a citywide shoplifting epidemic," and that the proposed rule would make it virtually impossible for them to use it.
There are two forces behind the ban. One is from legislators who believe that use of the technology facilitates racial profiling.
The other is from legislators angry with James Dolan, owner of Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers. It has come to light that Dolan "has used the tech to bar his legal enemies from events at his sports and entertainment venues," even if they had tickets, and Dolan is one of the more controversial and polarizing figures in New York politics.
- KC's View:
In a general sense, I think that anything that James Dolan dislikes or opposes is something that I am reflexively for - they need to figure out as way to assure that guys like him cannot use this technology to ban his enemies from catching Knicks and Rangers games.
But it also seems to me that there ought to a middle ground for retailers - like maybe allowing them to use the technology without written consent, but forcing them to be highly publicized about it at the front door and checkouts.