Facial Recognition and Retail — Going to the Next Level

By | July 21, 2021

From Axios July 2021

Facial recognition surges in retail stores

Bit of a fluff piece with the catchy title . Once again the actual content betrayed the calculated title.  It has turned into a shell game predicting which titles from which publications will provide the corresponding content.  I had hopes for Axios but it was muddled results at best.

In Brief

  • Pandemic drove new use cases (fraud, analytics)
  • Fight For the Future  leading fight against
  • Kroger, Home Depot/etc all say they won’t
  • Alibaba Supermarket of future (Wired)
  • Article is mostly title/lead but it globs together a fairly wide group of datapoints
  • Missed McDonalds Drive-Thru (or they are sponsor)
  • HIKVision and Dahua could have been raised as issue.  Many of the large companies buy from resellers which actually sell what the companies say they won’t be using. They simply state ignorance after the fact and elude any consequences. State and Federal do a lot of that right now. We thought we were doing the right thing but they didn’t tell us what we were doing!
  • The article actually calls out the increased use by Federal but neglects state
  • Pretty cheap looking marquee image
  • We saw nice article ARINC deploying facial recog in Japan – technically Collins Aerospace
  • Not much new here
facial recognition in retail

facial recognition in retail


Face-recognition tech is coming to a store near you, if it’s not there already, and that’s sparking a new wave of opposition.

Why it matters: The systems can scan or store facial images of both shoppers and workers. Their use accelerated during the pandemic as retailers looked for ways to prevent fraud, track foot traffic with fewer employees, and offer contactless payments at a time when consumers were wary of interacting with others.

Driving the news: More than three dozen advocacy groups launched a campaign late last week to pressure retailers to stop using facial recognition technologies, or to pledge not to use them.

Where it stands: Stores including Walmart, Kroger, Home Depot and Target have said they won’t use facial recognition technologies, per the advocacy groups’ running list of retailers.

  • But Albertson’s, Macy’s and Apple Stores are among major retailers that do use the technologies, per the groups’ list. Their privacy policies say they use it for security and to prevent fraud.