Manhattan supermarket Fairway is reportedly using facial recognition technology to tackle the rising problem of shoplifting in the city. The New York Post reports the store is collecting personal information, such as eye scans and voice prints, to stop repeat offenders from stealing. While the retailer claims that the technology is helping to reduce retail crime, some customers are concerned about the invasion of privacy.
The shop has placed a small sign on its front entrance alerting customers that it collects, retains, converts, stores, or shares their biometric information to stop repeat criminals. However, some shoppers call the technology “unsettling” and “creepy.” Retail thefts in New York hit a record high last year, with complaints soaring to over 63,000, a 45% jump from 2020, and many of the thieves were repeat offenders.
Fairway insists that it follows all laws associated with the technology, and only trained asset protection associates use the system to help focus attention on repeat shoplifters. Some Fairway shoppers believe that the high-tech tool will deter shoplifting and reduce retail theft in the city. However, others are worried about what will happen to their personal data once collected.