Convenience store spy cameras face legal challenge

A single camera captures the faces of people who enter the shops, and the images are analysed and converted into biometric data.

This is then compared with a database of people the co-operative says have stolen from its shops, or been violent.

A spokeswoman said the watch-list was not a list of people with criminal convictions, but of people for which the business had evidence of criminal or anti-social behaviour.

The data produced from the facial recognition cameras is deleted after being compared with the watch-list, but the original picture is kept for 72 hours in case an individual subsequently breaks the law or is violent.

  • So fed up of being scrutinised :roll_eyes:


It is a sad reflection on life today.

The stores want to stop theft and prevent persons they have banned from causing problems.

Facial Biometrics are an electronic way of doing what the human eye and brain does, only cheaper.

Surveillance is here to stay, I am not happy about it but accept the reality of life.

It is irrelevant to myself and the vast majority of people, we are not going out looking to commit a crime and we are not going to be hassled by it.

No doubt the conspiracy theories will flow.

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Not to mention that they will increase prices to pay for it, so chances are they won’t have to worry about scanning their customers because they won’t have any!

Just how far will they go though…will they have metal detectors just in case you might be carrying an offensive weapon? :astonished:

Shop from home then you won’t be seen but they’ll still know where you are, big brother that is.

I don’t have a problem with it ,if some Bot wants to scrutinise my boat race, let me.



Pixie, scanners for knives have been in use for years at entrances to nightclubs and other high risk premises.

Only any good if used in conjunction with door staff and evaded by ceramic knives.
They are not everywhere but insisted upon in some premises.

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I feel I’ve nothing to worry about am just an ordinary person shopping/ walking and getting on with my day , I’m really not bothered if big brother is watching me . If this stops theiving and saves the store money maybe it won’t put prices up .
I saw a woman walk out of a supermarket with a large trolley full to overflowing with items , no carrier bags , I reported to manager , she returned the trolly and walked out , manager told me the items totalled over ÂŁ200 she would have stolen , we end up paying for that in the end . Big brother is everywhere we have nothing to worry about .my thoughts anyway .

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I loathe accept this new reality, but I still object to being judged and assumed guilty just because some low-life decided to shove a can of beans in his pocket though!

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Good grief! I had no idea, and ceramic knives…I don’t even know what they are?! I’ll need to look it up.

I agree Susan, in that most of us are law abiding and have nothing to worry about…but its the point of it all. This scanning, photographing, CCTV everywhere…and they still can’t find missing people or catch criminals!


But you’re not being judged they care not about you ,it’s sorting the wheat from the chaff.

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I’m not bothered myself, I don’t do anything people aren’t welcome to watch, I won’t know and no skin off my nose

And if it cuts down on nicking stuff it should increase the shops profits, maybe they’ll be able to decrease their prices and if it it keeps the anti social behaviour tribe out too, then that sounds like a place I’d like to shop


They are judging by deciding whether or not I am fit to be in their shops.

Also they say they keep the data for 72 hours before deleting it…so say for example that this shop is your local one and you use it every day. You will never be out of their system. They don’t switch it off for the good guys, do they? No.

Doubt it will work though. As the article says, its simply a deterrant…the criminals will be displaced to go and commit crimes elsewhere, so it isn’t really helping stop crime is it? Its just not in their shop.



Well, I think all shops have a right to protect their own business’s

Yes, it may just move them on, but if all the shops take some sort of vigorous measures, it makes life difficult for the thieves and yobs and might encourage them to think it’s not worth it

They may do other stuff. My friend used to own an old fashioned sweet shop in a nearby seaside town and they had a community radio system to alert each other to well known shop lifters and trouble makers coming their way

It used to be funny because the radio users weren’t always PC in their descriptions :rofl:


Pixie, why should anyone let a known thief or troublemaker into their premises?

I go into a shop to buy things, not steal them.

I also prefer to shop where I am reasonably sure I will not be subject to antisocial behaviour.

This is just my personal view, I do not want the hassle.

I am no shrinking violet, an Ex Enforcement person, I am quite used to violence, I just don’t want it.

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In the US, it’s legal in some states to place security cameras in dressing rooms. With that as context, I’ve never seen anyone complain about security cameras in a convenience store focusing on facial recognition.

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Yes I agree with you both, I just think as a country, we are the most scanned, photographed, CCTV’d people per head of population. Yet missing people still can’t be found, and crimes are still committed! It just doesn’t add up :woman_shrugging:

This is so wrong. If retail shops are so paranoid about people stealing their stock, they shouldn’t have dressing rooms. They should issue refunds instead. Watching people in a state of undress is such an invasion of privacy.


Just found this:

“…The list goes on with other countries with more than 1 million cameras. The United Kingdom has 5 million CCTV cameras installed, followed by Japan with 5 million, Vietnam with 2.6 million, France with 1.65 million, South Korea with 1.03 million, and the Netherlands with 1 million…”

From this site

Population of Japan - 125 million
Population of UK - 68 million

Pixie, I think you will find it is much easier to use a security camera to discourage, or have evidence, that they stole something, because well placed cameras in a store are covering a specific area.
Sadly there are not yet enough cameras on our streets to find missing people or see them being captured and maybe murdered… but eventually there will be one on every road.
I have no problem with that as I am not going to steal anything or capture another human being so I never understand why people object to these cameras.
Let’s be fair, if you have no desire to commit a crime why would it bother anybody… unless you are a married man sneaking round to your mistress’s house for a bit of pleasure. :rofl:

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