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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.

“戴着头盔去看房”,售楼处的人脸识别

近日,一条“济南男子戴头盔看房”的小视频在网上热传。视频中,该男子戴着头盔进售楼处看房,以防范人脸识别系统的抓拍。

视频的流传令人好奇,人脸识别技术竟已无孔不入?人脸识别系统在北京各售楼处同样已成标配,甚至绝大多数是在看房人不知情的情况下,以无感方式收集其面部信息。

“售楼处收集个人信息,应该是在明示告知、充分提醒的前提下,由公民选择是否提供、如何提供、销毁个人信息,在此过程中不能对公民的选择权予以不正当的限制。”杨兆全建议,各部门应加强对公民信息保护的执法力度,严厉打击非法搜集、使用、泄露公民信息的行为,做好行政执法和司法的联动办案,畅通投诉、举报的渠道,实现监管的有效覆盖。对于不得不依法使用公民个人信息的特定情况,应充分考虑其必要性,并采取完善的保护措施,防止公民信息超出必要使用的范围。

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