RCC continues to follow privacy-related developments concerning the use of camera-based technology in the retail sector. As the technology becomes more common, retailers may be interested in recent commentary from one of Canada’s leading law firms, Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG), on the “path forward” for the use of Anonymous Video Analytics technology (AVA) in the retail context.
While much of the discussion in this space concerns the use of facial recognition technology (FRT) such as ClearviewAI, AVA is very different from FRT. AVA uses a pattern detection algorithm that can detect the presence of a visitor. The point is not to identify that visitor, but to simply provide retailers with reliable data about visitors for the purposes of advertising, resource management, and statistical purposes.
For more context on AVA, the Ontario Privacy Commissioner released a 2011 White Paper describing AVA technologies as pattern detection software that did not identify individuals. The 2021 BLG commentary mentioned above is recommended reading for retailers considering AVA going forward.
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Senior Policy Analyst, Government Relations