Privacy group challenges UK retailers' use of facial recognition cameras

28/07/2022 | The Guardian

Privacy campaigners Big Brother Watch have submitted a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) against Southern Co-operative over the retailer's use of facial recognition cameras in 35 of its 200 stores. The complaint alleges that the surveillance system "uses novel technology and highly invasive processing of personal data, creating a biometric profile of every visitor to stores where its cameras are installed". The cameras store images of offenders who have been banned from the store. Images are retained for 12 months.  

UPDATE: 280722 - The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has issued a statement on Big Brother Watch's challenge to Southern Coop's use of facial recognition. The statement confirms that "Data protection law sets a high bar for police forces, public authorities and businesses to justify the use of live facial recognition (LFR) technology" and that the ICO will assess "the compliance of a small number of private companies who have used, or are currently using, live facial recognition technology. Facewatch is amongst the organisations under consideration."  The ICO also confirmed it will consider the information provided by Big Brother Watch.

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