The novel 1984 is real.
The world is divided into three warring communist spheres – Oceana (America and England), Eurasia (Russia and a soon to be conquered Europe) and Eastasia (China and its neighbours).
Newspeak is a thing – they/them, spokesperson, jurisdiction, diversity – which obscures meaning and impairs clear thinking.
And there are cameras everywhere which watch your every move.
Australia’s leading consumer advocacy group has raised serious concerns about major retailers Kmart, Bunnings and The Good Guys using facial recognition technology to record customers’ faceprints.
An investigation by CHOICE has found that 76 per cent of Australians are not aware the retailers record their faces, with Kmart and Bunnings only advising customers of the security measure via small signs at entrances.
CHOICE has announced it is referring the retailers to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) to investigate potential breaches of the Privacy Act.
The advocacy group is also calling on the federal government to implement a regulatory framework that protects consumers from harmful and unfair practices.
CHOICE consumer data advocate Kate Bower has slammed the retailers using facial recognition technology on customers as “completely inappropriate and unnecessary”.
“Using facial recognition technology in this way is similar to Kmart, Bunnings or The Good Guys collecting your fingerprints or DNA every time you shop,” Bower said.
“Businesses using invasive technologies to capture their customers’ sensitive biometric information is unethical and is a sure way to erode consumer trust.”
However, this is only going to get worse. Lobbyists are pushing for government and the laughably mislabelled “private” sector to pool their digital resources and use the same facial recognition system.