There is a desire to trial face recognition software to protect consumers

There is a desire to trial face recognition software to protect consumers

There are moral debates between industry hawks and doves when it comes to protecting consumers in the gambling industry. The way the industry regulates and protects its customers is bound to be influenced by innovation. A face recognition system that will use relevant software to determine if gamblers are part of a self-excluded program is being proposed by ClubsACT.

Helping those who need it is what Dystopia is all about

This system will alert staff in real-time and help establishments steer vulnerable and at-risk consumers away from gambling products, or help them seek assistance from the relevant specialists. This suggestion has a bad ring to it. The all-seeing state is often trumped in such cases and Big Brother analogies are thrown around while neglecting the issue at hand, people suffer because of the gambling not yet fully able to limit gamblers who have self-excluded.

The model that will make it easier for venues to protect their patrons may be the result of the Canberra trial. The company that is developing the technology, COMS Systems, claims that its software is already used in more than 170 venues in New Zealand. In South Australia, there have been successful pilot tests.

Craig Shannon, CEO of ClubsACT, argued that the technology will be used to protect consumers and that it has nothing to do with bad actors in the sector. Speaking to ABC, Shannon explained.

The system is based on the idea that an individual who chooses to self-exclude from a club, who is already part of the self-exclusion regime, would be photographed if they went into a gambling area only.

There is a lot of biometric data in the clear

The right of private companies to scoop vast amounts of data on consumers, potentially with a serious gambling problem, is the bone of contention here. Even though the data will end up in the hands of bad actors, who is not to say that the public outrage will follow?

Currently, there are no laws that prevent the use of biometric data in the territory. This could be a wake up call to tailor and work on the regulatory framework where it is clearly lacking and where it can do some good. It would not be enough to just trial a face recognition software.

Gamblers would have to be willing to attend such places. An example of how the United Kingdom wants to obligate consumers to pass mandatory affordability checks has already ruffled feathers with industry representatives and some players.

The question is how the implementation of this technology in the industry would be possible while overcoming regulatory and security challenges and concerns, and making good on the promise to protect consumers? Good role models are what the answer is. If the pilot test is a success, other industry stakeholders will be able to act quickly to change the regulatory environment for the better.

Summary:

The ClubsACT wants to trial a face recognition system that will use relevant software to determine if gamblers are part of a self-excluded program. The system will alert staff in real-time and help establishments steer vulnerable and at-risk consumers away from gambling products, or help them seek assistance from the relevant specialists.