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Mercadona face recognition ends with € 2.5 million fine

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Imagem supermercado Mercadona

The Spanish supermarket chain Mercadora uses a facial recognition system that has been active in 40 stores since last year. These shops are located in Mallorca, Zaragoza and Valencia. According to the description of the company, stores using this system have information boards at the entrance. However, this technology, which allows the identification of suspects in a crime and helps the authorities, has not received the approval of the Spanish data protection authority.

Mercadona’s controversial facial recognition reportedly resulted in a € 2.5 million fine from the Spanish Agency for Data Protection (AEPD).

The Mercadona permit acts as a warning for this type of system.

Mercadona has implemented a pilot project in 48 stores of its supermarket chain. According to the company, the system “does not store any additional information,” and the image is completely erased in 0.3 seconds, which is the entire identification and erasure process.

In addition, the promotion is being properly advertised in stores through information posters, as you can see in the image below:

However, the controversial facial recognition is not subject to the law, and the company was fined 2.5 million euros... The verdict came a few weeks after the Barcelona Provincial Court ruled in the same case, finding a “breach of confidentiality” in the bill.

These are the arguments of the Data Protection Agency for facial recognition Mercadona. The conclusion highlights the complexity of this type of surveillance system.

For the Mercadona company, the system is important for helping the authorities and the supermarket chain itself. In fact, the company itself mentioned that the system “applied a process filter and a second visual inspection showed that the identified person had a restraining order at the facility.”

What aspects of the facial recognition project led to the sanctions

One data protection lawyer consulted to comment on this issue, mentions among the proven facts that the project began in June 2020 and only in May 2021 it was closed in its forty establishments. So, for about a year, these establishments used face recognition technology at the entrance.

So how does the system distinguish between those who received a court order?

The company filed a lawsuit against the thief and asked the judge to take this measure. While this is considered a “good idea” for Garcia Herrero, EDPS accuses them of starting to implement the system prior to the impact assessment.

That is, the exposure report did not assess the risks associated with the company's own employees and vulnerable customers such as minors, according to EDPS.

According to the agency, biometric data are processed without sufficient grounds and basic requirements of public interest are not met.

EDPS has concluded that it has violated the General Data Protection Regulation. In particular, Article 6 (Legal Processing) and Article 9 (Processing of Special Categories of Personal Data). For this reason, a fine of two million euros is imposed, as well as other amounts for violation of other articles RGPD...

However, this the sanction was reduced by 20% because Mercadona voluntarily decided to pay, considering the absence of records of recidivism as a particularly important mitigating factor. Mercadona explains that he had judicial powers and was in close contact with the relevant authorities from the beginning, sharing all procedures with EDPS before the trial began.

However, as already mentioned, one of the reasons for the sanction is an incorrect assessment of the impact.

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Economy

House fees will rise from 89 to 202 euros in October for contracts with Euribor.

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House fees will rise from 89 to 202 euros in October for contracts with Euribor.

An enterprise simulation shows that a client with a loan of 150 thousand euros, for a period of 30 years, indexed to Euribor for six months and with a “spread” (bank profit margin) of 1%, starts paying from October 600.20 euros, which 146 euros more than the last review in April.

In the case of a loan with the same conditions (amount and maturity), but indexed to a three-month Euribor, the client will pay 555.25 euros, which is 89.08 euros more than in July this year.

Finally, for loans indexed to the 12-month Euribor, the mortgage payment on the loan under the above conditions will be 651.41 euros, which is 202.10 euros more than in October last year.

These values ​​have been calculated using September averages of Euribor of 1.596% for six months, 1.011% for three months and 2.233% for 12 months, according to Deco.

Today, on the last day of September, the Euribor rates rose to three and six months and fell to 12 months compared to Thursday.

The six-month Euribor rate, most commonly used in Portugal for home loans and entering positive territory on June 6, rose to 1.809% today, up 0.009 points, after rising to 1.858% on Wednesday, the highest since January 2009. .

The 3-month Euribor, which hit positive territory for the first time since April 2015 on July 14, also edged higher today when it was set at 1.173%, climbing 0.013 points after rising to 1.228% on September 27, a new high. since January 2012.

On the other hand, in 12 months, Euribor fell today, for the third time since September 9, when it was set at 2.556% minus 0.022 points against 2.625% on September 27, a new high since February 2009.

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Euribor began to rise more significantly since February 4, after the European Central Bank (ECB) acknowledged that it may raise key interest rates this year due to rising inflation in the eurozone, a trend that has accelerated with the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 24 February.

On September 8, the ECB raised three key interest rates by 75 basis points, the second consecutive increase this year, as it raised three key interest rates by 50 basis points on July 21, for the first time in 11 years. the purpose of curbing inflation.

At the end of the last meeting, ECB President Christine Lagarde said that a historic 75 basis point hike in interest rates was not “the norm”, but stressed that the evaluation would be carried out from meeting to meeting.

Changes in Euribor interest rates are closely linked to increases or decreases in ECB key interest rates.

Three-, six- and 12-month Euribor rates were the lowest ever, respectively: -0.605% on December 14, 2021, -0.554% and -0.518% on December 20, 2021.

Euribor is set on the basis of the average rate at which a group of 57 Eurozone banks are willing to lend money to each other in the interbank market.

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Economy

Inflation accelerated to 9.3%, a new 30-year high | Prices

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Inflation accelerated to 9.3%, a new 30-year high |  Prices

Price pressure on the economy is not easing. The consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.4 percentage points year-on-year in September to its highest level since October 1992. The inflation rate in Portugal in September amounted to 9.3%. quick assessment published this Friday by the National Statistical Institute (INE). In August, the value was recorded amounted to 8.97%.

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Economy

Germany prepares €200bn emergency plan for winter

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Germany prepares €200bn emergency plan for winter

The German government is preparing an emergency plan to ensure energy supplies during the coldest months of the year, at a time when the country’s energy security has become even more threatened after this week’s leaks in the Nord Stream gas pipeline.

Realizing that winter could be one of the harshest in recent years, the chief executive, led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, has developed a 200 billion euro plan to address the energy shortage, using funds intended to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. . This strategy includes measures such as capping electricity and gas prices and supporting companies.

El Economista notes that the plan will increase the debt of Germany, which is already struggling with rising inflation, which stood at 7.9% in August.

“Prices must come down,” Scholz said in Berlin this Thursday, noting that comprehensive measures will be taken to protect pensioners, employees, families, “people from the countryside and the city, so that everyone can move.” go ahead and pay your bills.”

The German government guarantees that the package will not affect the country’s national debt targets next year and that it has been designed to protect the economy without hurting inflation.

“Russia is not only using weapons in the war in Ukraine, but also turning its energy resources into weapons at the international level,” Scholz accused.

Just today, the German energy regulator warned that households and businesses have consumed more gas than expected over the past week as temperatures begin to drop as autumn arrives. And he warns that savings of at least 20% are needed to avoid winter fuel shortages.

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