Jan 152011
 
 January 15, 2011  Non-U.S., Surveillance

Dan Robson reports:

Problem gamblers beware. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. — which critics say hasn’t done enough to keep you out — plans to be up to the challenge this spring.

OLG is set to unveil a new facial recognition program at all 27 of its gambling facilities in Ontario. It’s being praised as a high roller in the privacy protection game.

“It’s the most privacy-protected system using biometric encryption in the world,” said Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s privacy commissioner, who approved the new system.

Beginning May, each person who enters an Ontario casino will have their face digitally scanned by a camera; that image will be run through a database of more than 15,000 people with gambling problems who have voluntarily put themselves on a banned list.

Read more in the Toronto Star.

Interesting. What makes this use of biometrics reasonable is that people are opting in to its use as a tool to help them when their self-control may fail and it sounds like privacy protections and concerns have been addressed. See what you think.

Yes, I know that some of you thought I might pan this idea, but I’ve actually approved of use of surveillance or tracking techniques at times, such as bracelets with chips to help locate Alzheimers’ patients who have wandered and gotten lost (on the other hand, I am definitely opposed to schools chipping students).

When people ask for help and we have the technology to help them while protecting their privacy, isn’t that a good thing?

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