'Cameras that focus on the faces of shoppers are being trialled at a Preston supermarket – sparking privacy concerns.
But bosses at Asda, on Eastway, Fulwood, insist the facial detection software does not log personal data and is merely used to enhance image quality and deter thieves.
Those entering the store now see a bright green square around their heads on TV screens, leading to concern and anger from some customers.
However, rather than tracking customers or scanning faces, Asda said the software works to focus the image – in much the same was as a digital camera or mobile phone would – and improve image quality.
No further data, beyond the CCTV image itself, is stored, the firm added. CCTV surveillance is commonplace across a range of stores.
The images are stored in the same way as regular CCTV and are collected as part of a trial at stores selected at random, Asda said.
Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the cameras are “shameful” and called on the supermarket to scrap the scheme.
It said: “Excessive surveillance systems like this are designed to intimidate shoppers and change their behaviour.
“This face detection system effectively puts shoppers in the crosshairs and is a shameful way of reminding customers they’re being watched. Customers ought to be treated with respect by retail giants like Asda, not like suspects.'
Read more: Asda denies using facial recognition cameras on its customers in Preston amid privacy concerns
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