(CTN News) – Rite Aid expressed its disagreement with the allegations, however, it is pleased to have reached an agreement to address the matter.
According to the Federal Trade Commission’s complaint filed in a federal court, Rite Aid’s utilization of technology over several years resulted in numerous inaccurate identifications, including an unfortunate incident involving the search of an 11-year-old girl by Rite Aid store employees.
The FTC stated that Rite employed facial recognition technology in hundreds of its stores from October 2012 to July 2020, intending to identify shoppers who were previously considered likely to engage in shoplifting or other criminal activities.
The complaint revealed that the database contained low-quality images from various sources.
The technology would alert employees about individuals on the watchlist, who would then be tracked and confronted.
Rite Aid did not test the accuracy of the technology before implementing it. The company clarified that these allegations were related to a pilot program used in a limited number of stores, which was discontinued over three years ago.
Rite Aid respects the FTC’s inquiry but disagrees with the facial recognition allegations. Facial recognition technology has a controversial track record, with advocates and critics having differing opinions. Any agreement reached will require approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Rite Aid announced the closure of over 150 stores as part of its bankruptcy process. The company operates more than 2,000 locations and faces financial challenges and risks from lawsuits related to opioid prescriptions.