Xpeng Motors Fined for Collecting Face Photos

Recently, Xpeng Motors was fined 100,000 yuan ($15,717) by Xuhui District Market Supervision Administration of Shanghai for using camera equipment with face recognition functionality to collect 431,623 face photos without the consent of users.

According to the administrative penalty decision, in 2019, Xpeng signed the Framework Contract of Xpeng Store Passenger Flow Monitoring Project with a company, which stipulated that Xpeng would purchase store passenger flow monitoring project services from the company from March 1, 2019 onwards, in addition to purchasing its face recognition camera equipment and install them in its stores to collect consumers’ facial recognition data.

Xpeng Motors has purchased 22 sets of the camera equipment with facial recognition functionality, all of which were installed in its stores, including 5 direct stores and 2 franchise stores. From January to June 2021, the devices had collected and uploaded 431,623 face photos in all. However, the consent to collect the facial recognition data was never obtained from consumers, nor did XPeng explicitly inform the consumers about the purpose of data collection and use.

Xpeng commented on the matter on Tuesday, “The stores in Shanghai hoped to improve the reception process and better serve the customers who came to the store by collecting and analyzing the data of store passenger flow. However, due to unfamiliarity with relevant legal provisions, they mistakenly purchased and used the products of third-party suppliers that violated relevant legal provisions.”

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In addition, Xpeng Motors said that its Shanghai stores had already removed all the collection equipment through their own initiative prior to the inspection by the Shanghai Municipal Supervision Bureau on March 18. Further, the data collected and analyzed by third-party software providers has already been deleted. Xpeng Motors says it has not disclosed nor illegally used personal information, and has only used non-personal digital data such as passenger flow as a reference for its operations.