7-Eleven has confirmed it has rolled out facial recognition software across all of its Australian stores.

The convenience store chain uses facial recognition software within its ‘Rate It’ customer service tablet, and “not for any other purpose”.

The chain introduced the software a few weeks ago, across all of its more than 700 stores.

On advice from lawyers, the chain posted signs across their stores warning customers of the facial recognition software.

“Site is under constant video surveillance. By entering the store you consent to facial recognition cameras capturing and storing your image,” the sign reads.

In a statement to 7NEWS.com.au, a spokesperson said the software was to prevent “the system being gamed”.

“The use of facial recognition within the Rate It tablet is to ensure that the feedback is accurate and valid, and given customer feedback is so important to us we don’t want the system being ‘gamed’.

“The technology is not used for any other purpose.”

A 7-Eleven Australia spokesperson defended the implementation, saying the stores don’t access the data.

“If a customer doesn’t use the feedback tablet, their image won’t be recorded,” the spokesperson said.

“The camera is only activated upon commencement of an interaction and is dormant at all other times.

“The data captured by the tablet is a biometric blurring and only an encrypted algorithmic representation of the image is recorded.“

It’s an assurance that doesn’t sit well with Stephen Blanks from the NSW Council of Civil Liberties.

“This kind of information gathering should be against the law. It’s certainly against good privacy practice and principles.”

Blanks said collecting the data of people trying to provide feedback made little sense.

“They are creating an incentive not to use the feedback tablet – which is contrary to what they’re wanting to achieve.”

7NEWS.com.au understands that an element of the software’s facial recognition is to discourage 7-Eleven staff from self-rating during a shift.

“That’s not an adequate justification for gathering the information,” Blanks said.

No reason

The Australian arm of 7-Eleven is not the first in the business to implement facial recognition.

More than 11,000 stores in Thailand have also had the technology added.

Blanks says there is no reason for 7-Eleven to have facial recognition.

‘Shops should not collect more information about you than is necessary.’

“Shops should not collect more information about you than is necessary for you to make a purchase, or to leave feedback,” he said.

“If at the point of gathering they’re telling me they’re collecting my facial image and storing it, my customer satisfaction will go down to the lowest possible level.”

Extracted from 7News