You’ve seen the recent publicity about Automated Facial Recognition (AFR) – there’s been loads of it.
As you can see by the headlines above, it sure looks like NSW will adopt AFR as a means for making self-exclusion a more potent harm minimization tool.
Despite the apparent support from regulators, deployment of AFR may still provoke controversy – as evidenced by an article in the Sydney Morning Herald on November 3rd.
One of The Drop’s long-term supporters, Exact Technologies, was in the spotlight.
The article suggested that Automated Facial Recognition technology was being sold due to its potential for identifying high rollers. We asked Exact Tech’s Managing Director, Steve Van Zwieten about the claim by the journalist.
“The article seemed to push the idea that Facial Recognition is being sold as a tool for enhancing customer service, and specifically VIP programs. This was despite explaining to the journalist that 100% of requests about Facial Recognition technology have been from clubs wanting to their strengthen harm minimization programs, especially the self-exclusion protocols”
Steve went on to explain that the journalist had taken her information from a brochure about AFR in the US Casino market – the brochure was on Exact’s website simply because they believe providing as much information as possible is best. It means their clients can be better informed when making decisions.
“Look, when the media started to become interested in AFR and the gaming industry, we probably should have taken that brochure down. It simply doesn’t represent our beliefs and more importantly it does not reflect the values and beliefs of the club industry. The lesson is that the media can very easily create discomfort and embarrassment.”
The real story with Exact Technologies is that they have been investing time, energy and resources into trying to help clubs establish an ethical use case for AFR. This means looking closely at the reasons clubs want to deploy AFR. It also means understanding that deployment of AFR imposes additional responsibilities and obligations around privacy, data protection and human rights.
“Look, in Australia there are no guidelines available to help determine what is acceptable or not acceptable. Many might say it’s just common sense, but it is far more complex than that. So, we have looked to Europe and done some work adapting the principles of their General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for our club industry and specifically with self-exclusion as the central reason for deployment.”
Steve strongly emphasized the importance of considering all the issues of concern. He was especially concerned that his clients should be able to clearly articulate the reasons they believe AFR deployment is both a necessary and proportionate response to the issues faced by clubs.
“We have looked at academic research of self-exclusion programs and it is clear that breaches of self-exclusion are very common and have long been of great concern. And we all know the impact that can come from those breaches – it affects the self-excluded person, but it also reaches their families, friends and the community. Using the word “impact” downplays it a bit, a breach can have a devastating result for many people.”
If you are thinking about AFR you should undoubtedly be asking your supplier about what information they have about the ethical use of AFR and its necessity and proportionality for the issues you face.
With Exact Technologies, they informed us last time of their process for helping clubs work out if AFR is appropriate for them. It is well worthwhile to give them a call and find out how they can help.
There is compelling evidence to show Facial recognition in clubs can be used as a force for good and there is substantial public interest in doing so. With Exact, this technology can be deployed while taking the best available steps for the protection of human rights.
Exact’s experience and expertise in clubs, pubs and licensed venues is extensive. Exact is the ideal team to look to when you’re considering technology for your venue. Start your conversation with them today.
For more information contact: Owen Kerin
Phone: 0474 127 527