ASDA clarifies its tills don’t use facial recognition for targeted ads

17/03/2023 | Full Fact

UK supermarket chain, ASDA, has confirmed to fact-checking charity Full Fact that the cameras on its self-service machines are an anti-theft deterrent. While no images are stored or used to compare against other images, the cameras use artificial intelligence (AI) to focus on people's faces. The company also uses traditional CCTV in stores, and that ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) footage is stored for 120 days. Asda said it relies on its legitimate interest to collect this footage "to provide a safe space and enable a fair investigation into potential breaches, among other reasons."

The development follows a viral post on TikTok (it's a bit of a leap, but worth a watch) in which a woman claimed ASDA has "a picture of your face, your debit card information and everything you’ve bought. Now, this is for as far as I’m concerned, targeted advertising…But I’ve never given anybody permission to take my data in that way. And under GDPR, unless you’ve given permission, they cannot do it.”

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