UWaterloo requests removal of vending machines after students raise concerns about facial recognition

The University of Waterloo has requested the removal of smart vending machines after students raised concerns about the machines’ use of facial recognition. The facial recognition feature was discovered after one of the machines malfunctioned and a student posted a photo online of an error on the vending machine’s screen. Invenda Group, the company that manufactures the machines, said that the machines use demographic detection software that “does not engage in storage, communication, or transmission of any imagery or personally identifiable information.” CTV News reports that students have covered the hole that they believe houses the camera and are now asking if similar technology is used elsewhere on campus. UWaterloo has called on the manufacturer to disable the software until the machines can be removed.

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