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Real Estate Firms Collecting Client Data Via Facial Recognition
Published on: 2020-11-26
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Several Chinese real estate companies are using facial-recognition systems to collect information on clients without their knowledge, raising privacy concerns associated with the fast-spreading technology.

Real estate agencies used facial recognition to identify individuals who visited their offices and verify if they were first-time or returning clients, or had come through one of their sales associates or a third-party agency, according to the media report. The information was then used to determine the commission fee for outside agencies, depending on the value of the sale.

The number of real estate companies or brick-and-mortar offices using facial-recognition technology in this way is unclear, but some would-be customers wise to the practice have gone to great and creative lengths to outsmart the cameras. Last month, a man in the eastern city of Jinan was seen wearing a helmet while visiting a real estate office to avoid being secretly filmed.

Experts say real estate companies may also have infringed their clients’ rights by collecting data without permission. According to a government document on information security technology, companies are required to obtain consent before collecting personal biometric information, and individuals must be notified of the purpose, method, scope, and storage time of such data.





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