How Retailers Watch You

September 17, 2006 at 3:48 am Leave a comment

“With $30 billion lost to shoplifting and employee theft last year, retailers are turning to increasingly sophisticated electronic surveillance systems to fight theft. Some systems, like RFID tags, have been well-publicized by privacy advocates. Others are less well known: video surveillance systems are being tied to software that can recognize specific types of activity and identify individuals; and data-mining software is being used to analyze everything from shoppers’ habits to irregular register activity.”

From the article: “Despite this revolution in retail tech, you won’t find many stores bragging about their new security tools. No one wants to tip off shoplifters or advertise that they suspect their customers. That’s why so much of the technology is hidden in the first place. But another reason stores don’t talk much about surveillance is that they know it sparks concerns about privacy. Consumer groups and legislators have opposed the spread of RFID and video surveillance for just that reason.”

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Entry filed under: Misc., Privacy, Security.

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