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Justice forces to stop a system that was always out of place

Mercadona’s facial recognition is not going ahead. The Justice, through the Provincial Court of Barcelona, ​​has ruled on the Mercadona system implemented in July 2020 in some 40 stores in Mallorca, Zaragoza and Valencia and has concluded that “there is a violation of privacy”.

According to the court order obtained by El Diario.es, the Mercadona system is not “protecting the public interest”, “but rather, the private or particular interests of the company in question.”

Justice collects the enormous doubts that it already generated at the time

Mercadona’s facial recognition was created to detect people with a “restraining order final judgment of the establishment in less than 0.3 seconds “, as explained by the company. The system was developed” always in constant contact with the corresponding authorities to guarantee full protection and all its legal guarantees “, as explained by Mercadona. But a year later, Justice has concluded that facial recognition can pose a risk.

Already then the different experts consulted warned of the doubts raised by this system. Facial recognition requires “reinforced guarantees”, as explained in a report by the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD). Own AEPD then started an investigation on Mercadona’s facial recognition, one that is still ongoing and for which they have not yet spoken.

According to the car issued, “The adequate guarantees in order to protect the rights of the and freedoms of the interested parties, not only of those who have been punished and whose access prohibition is incumbent upon them, but of the rest of the people who access the aforementioned supermarket “.

The resolution is based on the defense of two people convicted of a robbery with violence in 2018, where it was argued that “the convicts were not prohibited from accessing any other supermarket.” For the judges of the Provincial Court of Barcelona, ​​the measure of facial recognition is “disproportionate”.

The use of facial recognition in Mercadona generated enormous doubts. Among them, the origin of the database. “Mercadona can only have access to the database of the courts. And the courts do not have to have my face,” explained Jorge García Herrero, a lawyer specializing in data protection. “Even if I don’t save the images, it’s a treatment. The key is where Mercadona gets the images of criminals“.

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Mercadona’s system spoke of an instantaneous processing, of 0.3 seconds. However, the judges point out that “no matter how fast, there is a privacy violation. Both the argument of speed and the non-processing of data fall by their own weight “.

Despite being initially implemented in 40 stores, the facial recognition project has not passed an experiment and it has progressively stopped being used. Now, with the court decision, Mercadona must completely put an end to the use of facial recognition in its supermarkets.

Via | The Diario.es

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