Photo: / Fractal Pictures

Co-op is Using Facial Recognition Tech to Scan and Track Shoppers


Some branches of a British supermarket chain are using facial recognition to scan customers

Eighteen shops from the Southern Co-op franchise are using facial recognition technology from Facewatch to scan shoppers’ faces as they enter, and compares them against a watchlist of people with a history of shoplifting or abuse. The approach has come under fire from privacy campaigners who question whether the technology is justifiable.

"In response to police use of facial recognition technology, the Court of Appeal criticised a lack of transparency around the creation of watchlists and who could be on them."

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK’s data protection regulator, is currently investigating the use of facial recognition in the private sector, and says there must be a legal basis for its use.

In the coming years, the use of private facial recognition networks is certainly set to increase. Cameras and the cloud technology needed to run the AI systems are becoming increasingly more powerful and cheaper

View article