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Despite the violation of Canadian privacy law, Sharon Polsky said national privacy laws cannot adequately guarantee that Cadillac Fairview will follow regulations in the future.
“The only thing the commissioner can do is ask nicely and make a recommendation, and if the company says, ‘Thanks for your recommendation, we’ll keep doing what we want anyway,’ that’s it ( commissioner) can do, because the law is ineffective, ”said Polsky, chairman of the Canadian Privacy and Access Council.
The five million images of buyers collected were not faces and the software was unable to recognize people, Cadillac Fairview said.
“These are sequences of numbers that the software uses to anonymously categorize the age range and gender of buyers in camera view,” the company statement said.
Cadillac Fairview said it informed buyers of the use of facial recognition technology through decals placed on their driveway, according to the investigation, but privacy commissioners said it was insufficient.
Polsky said she went to see the decals in August 2018, after the investigation began.
They didn’t mention the use of facial recognition software at the time, but were later changed to give more information on privacy, she said.
“It was not proper consent and it is unfortunate that the law allows Canadian companies to be cavalier,” Polsky said.
Privacy commissioners have expressed concern that Cadillac Fairview has refused to commit to obtaining express and meaningful consent from buyers if it were to use the technology again in the future.