Biometric cameras are being used in at least 27 stores owned by billionaire Mike Ashley. This includes one of the UK’s biggest retailers, Sports Direct. These cameras scan shoppers’ faces against a watchlist, alerting store staff when there’s a match.
Big Brother Watch claim that the scanning of millions of shoppers’ faces without their consent is ‘Orwellian’. The organisation revealed exclusively to Mail on Sunday that 12 Sports Direct shops, 12 Flannel stores and two USC stores all have facial recognition cameras installed.
The Information Commissioner Office stated it was investigating if this use is lawful. Frasers Group stated that they will continue rolling out these surveillance measures. Nick Fisher, CEO of Facewatch said that the security system is preventing ‘thousands of crimes a month’.
Jake Hurfurt, head of research and investigations said that this continued rollout of intrusive monitoring systems across Britain’s largest retail stores is ‘deeply concerning.’