Woolworths introduces self-service checkout changes
Woolworths is implementing controversial AI security technology at its self-service checkouts, in a bid to stop thieves trying to bypass scanning.
Camera technology can accurately detect instances where an item has not been scanned through self-checkout.
When an item is not scanned, it notifies the customer with an on-screen alert, simultaneously notifying a staff member with a red light above the checkout.
Woolworths says the system is designed to protect shoppers’ privacy.
Woolworths is rolling out surveillance cameras at self-service and operator-assisted checkouts to reduce instances of fake swiping
‘It’s not viewed live, and when a person reviews the footage any faces that are inadvertently detected are blurred out so the customer can’t be identified,’ Alisha Moore, assistant state manager for Woolworths in WA, told the ABC.
The technology automatically obfuscates PIN pads, ensuring the privacy of shoppers’ credit card details.
‘And then there’s also secrecy around the pin pads, so we don’t have the technology to overview the pin pads, it’s all black.’
Woolworths said it was forced to introduce the technology amid an increase in thieves not scanning items.
‘We’re seeing an increase in retail crime and theft,’ Moore said.
But Samantha Floriani, a program lead at Digital Rights Watch, said the technology has normalized surveillance and can make consumers feel like they’re being watched.
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