25 Jun 2013

Facial recognition technology to be trialled at casino

9:53 pm on 25 June 2013

Facial recognition technology is to be trialled at SkyCity Casino in Auckland to prevent gambling addicts getting through the door.

The technology has been used in Canada and identifies problem gamblers who ban themselves, or who have been banned, from a database of images.

Auckland mayor Len Brown has been talking with SkyCity about ways to reduce problem gambling since the casino operator agreed with the Government to build a convention centre in return for an extension to its license.

He says he asked that facial recognition technology be installed. If the trial is successful, Mr Brown expects the technology could be rolled out at gaming machine venues across Auckland.

But Gehan Gunasekara, a specialist in information privacy law at Auckland University's business school, said protection is needed to ensure private data does not end up with other agencies or companies who could use it to decide job, loan or insurance applications.

Mr Gunasekara said the public interest in privacy should not be sidelined by other public interests in dealing with crime and addictions.