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Emerging tech and privacy: An ongoing issue with no easy solution

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2021 | Emerging Business

Technology is an increasingly substantial part of businesses. Everything from sophisticated machinery to highly complex security features can be crucial to a company’s success; many organizations thrive or fail based on their technological offerings.

However, in the drive to stay competitive, businesses may cross a line from innovative to intrusive.

May AI take your order?

Recently, a case came up involving McDonald’s and the voice recognition software it is testing out at a small number of restaurants. The software uses artificial intelligence in the ordering system. It reportedly improves order accuracy, makes the process faster and reduces operating costs.

Like many companies, McDonald’s has been testing how and to what extent tech solutions like AI can help them cut costs and offer new services to customers.

However, at least one person takes issue with the new system.

Privacy concerns with AI

According to a recent lawsuit, one customer is raising concerns that the company is using voice-recognition systems without consent from users.

The system captures biometric information, including the unique qualities of a person’s voice. It also captures information about a person’s vehicle, connecting the two and making it easier for the system to recognize customers, no matter which location they visit.

Under the laws in the state where the man filed the lawsuit, parties must give consent for companies to collect biometric data. In this case, the plaintiff says that there was no effort to get his permission.

It will be interesting to see how this case proceeds, especially considering McDonald’s is the most popular chain restaurant in the world. The outcome of the case could set the foundation for whether and how other companies can use AI to take orders and identify customers. 

In the meantime, this situation can serve as an example of what can happen when technology and privacy concerns clash. There may be no easy way to resolve the problem, so working toward a fair and lawful outcome can be a complicated but crucial process.