Co-op is using facial recognition tech to scan shoppers faces as they enter stores

Co-op is using facial recognition technology across more than a dozen stores to scan shoppers faces in real-time in a bid to reduce crime and abuse against staff.

Southern Co-op is using the controversial technology in 18 stores across the country, while other regional Co-op franchises are now understood to be trialing its use.

According to Wired the retailer, which has experienced a sharp rise in crime levels during the pandemic, began introducing the technology over the last 18 months.

Co-op has reportedly introduced a facial recognition system from Facewatch, which scans the faces of shoppers when they enter the store to check them against a watch list of known suspects.

The system will then alert store staff via their smartphone immediately if someone “who has a past record of theft or antisocial behavior” enters the store.

READ MORE: Body cameras issued to hundreds of Co-op staff amid unprecedented “levels of violence and abuse”

The Court of Appeal has previously criticised the lack of transparency around the creation of such watch lists, which are understood to be compiled based on decisions from Co-op staff.

In July, Co-op announced it was issuing body cameras to staff in response to a “unprecedented crime wave”, which it says was largely carried out by repeat offenders when they are confronted by staff.

A Co-op spokesperson told Wired that “only images of individuals known to have offended within our premises, including those who have been banned/excluded, are used on our facial recognition platform.”

“Using facial recognition in this limited way has improved the safety of our store colleagues,” he added.

Despite the apparent reduction in crime, the use of facial recognition technology remains a controversial topic, and its largely silent adoption across the private sector has drawn major criticism from privacy advocate groups.

Co-op’s use is largely protected under GDPR regulations as it is classed as a “legitimate business interest”, helping minimise crime and improve employee safety.

However legal officer at Privacy International Ioannis Kouvakas says: “You still need to be necessary and proportionate. Using an extremely intrusive technology to scan people’s faces without them being 100 per cent aware of the consequences and without them having the choice to provide explicit, freely given, informed and unambiguous consent, it’s a no go.”

Click here to sign up to Charged‘s free daily email newsletter

Artificial Intelligence


7 Comments. Leave new

  • Janine Paterson
    December 11, 2020 10:38 am

    Why is your privacy expert talking about consent when your article states that Co-op is using legitimate interests under GDPR?

    What is important is what customers are told about the use of this, regardless of the lawful basis used. It would be nice to know whether there are signs up about this in the stores.

  • nigeldang69504
    December 18, 2020 7:50 pm

    It is recommended that you receive trailers for sale from a non-public dealer as opposed to from more public places like auctions or the world wide web. You should examine the used trailers very well before purchasing them as are actually possibilities of these having some problems. Ask the dealer if she is offering any style of guarantee for the automobile. If a clip is relatively new, the idea will come attached with some warranty that is left over by former dealer. It is recommended a person can get pre-owned trailers for sale which are relatively fresh. If you select the old ones, then are usually chances you actually will need to spend more on repairs, maintenance, and wear & tear.

    For essentially the most part, trading online will be deemed as a lonely exploits. That is actually a good thing. Through developing your trading plan, you could have a personal road map to conform to. That is your edge over others in the market which have no software programs. When you have your own system of trading, you’ll have not need advice from others. In the neighborhood . just as well. Your clear thinking and decision making will be countermanded coming from the good opinion of others. An incredibly real no room in trading online for hesitation caused by numerous conflicting opinions. You’ve to be straightforward and decisive while making your own decisions.

    Husbands should remember never to let the romance diminish in their unique married peoples lives. They should perform small things which make life interesting and romantic. Can the small things in life, which keep the fireplace burning. Be vocal and demonstrative as well as your wife.

    My ex-web hosting company could have said something like, “I appreciate and understand you’re trying info something emerging. Why don’t attempt doing it this road? We value your business”. Is it possible to imagine such a different relationship we hold had!

    To say it in simple terms: self esteem is very own opinion about you. It is a psychological name used to mirror an individual’s overall appraisal and evaluation in some merit. Self assurance plays a huge role in constructing a person’s happiness, thereby fulfilling his relationships and popularity. Building a good self esteem would help you attain a successful life. It assists you in crafting better choices discouraging you and body, thereby a person think you will be important. With a decent self esteem, you can suffer that every of you is worth significant thereby you become fit enough to make the own picks.

    There continually be good times in any relationship. He needs don’t forget these fun. Those happy memories will have him wondering what went drastically wrong. Through this he may begin to see where he fell short and that his feelings for are generally still usually.

    It isn’t fair, with the idea to the other parent in order to the child to impose your conflicted emotions on him. People have a to meet globe on our very own terms. Hopefully, we can count on our parents to impart us with the tools we want to do it.

  • Normally I don’t learn post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, quite nice post.

  • If you wish for to grow your know-how just keep visiting this web page and be updated with the latest gossip posted here.

  • nadiagilbreath
    December 25, 2020 5:29 am

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is required to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web savvy so I’m not 100% certain. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Kudos

  • Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!

  • Hi, I have a question, not sure if this is the right place for it.
    Co-op, on its self-scan checkouts, has a ‘voice’ saying out loud, ‘payment accepted/not accepted ‘. Is this allowed under GDPR? (The question here is the fact that everyone can hear that info that is somewhat private)
    Thank you


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.