Excerpt: It’s called “biometrics”—a type of artificial intelligence that maps the features of the face with such accuracy, it not only can identify that person but detect their sexual orientation and, in the most advanced versions, even gauge their emotional state. Casinos in Macau and elsewhere are now testing the technology as a way to identify card cheats, problem gamblers and more. Does this go beyond surveillance to spying?
Last month, Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) acknowledged that “two to three” gaming operators in the world’s top casino market are testing facial recognition technologies, presumably to identify and eject criminals, card cheats, compulsive gamblers, underage players, dishonest employees and others whose presence in a gaming hall may be unwelcome.
DICJ head Paulo Martins Chan made soothing sounds about “strictly adhering” to privacy rules, but that may not ring true in Macau, which takes its orders from Beijing, or in the market’s billion-dollar casinos, where corporate concerns have sometimes overruled privacy concerns.
Besides, in an era where cameras are always looming, is privacy becoming obsolete? These issues are at the heart of a new report, published in June in the UNLV Gaming Law Review.
The report, And the Eye in the Sky is Watching Us All: Privacy Concerns of Emerging Technological Advances in Casino Player Tracking, looks at innovations in video surveillance, biometrics and other technologies— gesture recognition, too—that author Stacy Norris said have reached “an almost Orwellian level of intrusiveness.